Madison, Wis. — Bernadette Gillick, a University of Minnesota professor who has accused Governor Scott Walker of fathering a child in 1988 with her first-year roommate at Marquette University, will not retract the allegation, in spite of Walker’s firm denial and the reported denial of Gillick’s former roommate.
Michael Fargione, Gillick’s attorney, tells National Review Online that his client stands by her statement. She will not make any further comment between now and Tuesday’s recall election.
“She’s not going to talk anymore because I don’t see any point to that,” Fargione says. “I’m recommending to her to not say any more because she does not have any new information to add.”
Over the weekend, Gillick, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative, alleged that Walker, who is pro-life, pressured “Ruth,” her roommate, to pursue an abortion.
“This is no mistake that it’s him,” Gillick told an inquiring reporter when pressed about her knowledge of the pregnancy.
But when “Ruth,” was contacted by the WCMC, she denied the claim. “I can confirm that it was not Scott Walker who is my daughter’s father,” she told the publication. Daniel Bice, a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, also contacted Gillick’s former roommate: “Yes, she got pregnant as a first-year student, but she believes Dr. Gillick is mixing up stories.”
#more#Further questions have cast doubt on Gillick’s allegation — specifically reviews of Wisconsin court records, which reveal a paternity case involving “Scott A. Walker,” not Scott K. Walker, the governor.
In a radio interview with Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes this morning, Walker called the rumor “horrific” and “ridiculous.” At a campaign stop near Madison late Sunday, Walker had a similar message. “This is an example of how incredibly desperate the opposition is,” he said. “I think this will backfire, and I think there are a lot of Democrats across the state that will say that this is what is exactly what is fundamentally wrong about politics.”
Regardless, Fargione says, Gillick has no plans to issue any modified statement or retraction. “It’s still accurate and contains everything she knows, so there’s no reason to rehash it,” he says. “What Bernadette knows is the experience that her roommate had. She doesn’t have anything to add to what she has said.”
Fargione says Gillick’s motives are pure, regardless of the timing of her decision to come forward with her memory of freshman year at Marquette. “She’s not a political person,” he says. “She’s not a resident of Wisconsin and hasn’t been involved in that stuff.”
“But she has family there,” he acknowledges. “They sent her stuff about Walker’s statement during a debate, that he was a man of integrity, and that triggered her initial reaction and statement.”
“I’m not a political activist; she’s not a political activist,” Fargione says. He adds that there was no coordination with Democratic operatives about the allegation: “There was certainly no strategy involved. It was something she told family and friends based on her personal experience; they encouraged her, and there was no consultation with any political committee or anything like that.”
Fargione knows that Walker could potentially sue Gillick for the claim. “Anybody with a computer can sue you,” he says. “The truth is a defense. She reported what she experienced and I don’t see any problem with what she said. She reported what she knew and the sources of her knowledge. It was a public statement.”
“I don’t see a problem with a person being able to make statements about her knowledge of a public figure,” he says. “What happens with that statement is outside of her control.”
Meanwhile, the “Walker had a love child” allegation continues to appear around the Web, especially on left-leaning blogs, where it has been cited as a fresh reason to oust the embattled governor.