[Editor’s note: What follows is one woman’s account of the Scott Walker she knew at Marquette University. To the extent possible we have verified its accuracy, including the accuracy of details not printed here in order to protect the identities of the people involved. All of the elements are consistent: the principals were at Marquette University when the incidents recounted here allegedly happened, and “Ruth” did have a baby shortly thereafter.]
“First off, let me be clear, set the stage here … I’ve had a high level of integrity all the way back to my early days as a kid when I earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and have shown that during my time in the State Assembly, as the County Executive, and now as the Governor of the State of Wisconsin. I will continue to have high integrity long after I’m in this position and long after this whole process is complete.” –Scott Walker
Bernadette Gillick was a college freshman in 1988 when she first met Scott Walker. It was spring semester, and she had just transferred to Marquette University. She was assigned a room in O’Donnell Hall (then a women’s dormitory), which she shared with her new roommate, Ruth (not her real name). Ruth was dating Scott Walker, who was 20 at the time, and, according to Bernadette, Ruth was deeply in love with him.
Midway through that spring semester, Bernadette alleges, Ruth found out she was pregnant. She informed her boyfriend, Scott, and initially he was supportive. That support changed to callous indifference for his girlfriend’s predicament after Scott informed his parents of the pregnancy.
Bernadette reports that at this point Scott began denying that he was the father of the baby, and when Ruth said she was considering an abortion, he claimed he didn’t care, as he wasn’t the father anyway.
Bernadette remembers being present when Ruth was dealing with the wrath of Scott’s mother, who allegedly admonished Ruth for trying to “ruin [her son’s] reputation.”
“I supported her [Ruth] as he [Scott] went from encouraging her to get an abortion, to telling me it was in my best interest to keep my mouth shut, to denying that he was the father and having his own mother call her and tell her to stop erroneously accusing her son of paternity,” Bernadette recounts.
It was a “horrible time” for her friend. “Imagine her being 18 years old and pregnant, walking around Marquette’s Jesuit Catholic campus with her boyfriend denying he was the father,” says Bernadette.
All this was taking place while Walker was running for student body president.
If Bernadette’s story is true, Ruth – and eventually their child – were just a few of the people who got in the way of Walker’s quest for power.
After consulting with her family, Ruth decided against an abortion. Bernadette was with Ruth in the hospital for the birth of her child later that year (and says Walker was not present), and later stood up as a bridesmaid in Ruth’s 1992 marriage to another man. She says Walker eventually had to concede that he was the father, after the birth and paternity test.
Why did Bernadette come forward with this story now?
Dr. Bernadette Gillick is now a college professor at a major Midwestern university. Through her attorney, Mike Fargione, she issued a statement: “It is rare that you will ever hear from me on issues of politics, as I am a firm believer that most politics are local and can be as local as our own kitchen tables. But I’m asking you to consider what I have to share …”
Over the phone, Bernadette recounted how she watched a recent televised debate between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett. As he talked about his “lifelong integrity” her anger grew. This was a man who had abandoned his pregnant young girlfriend — completely turned his back on her at the most fragile point in her life. She notes his “now-convenient ‘pro-life’ proclamations” after burying his past “indiscretion.” Says Bernadette, “I cannot listen to his lies anymore … I cannot dream of how anyone would support such an evil man. Once a man shows that he has no soul, there is nothing more.”
Despite repeated attempts to contact Walker and his campaign staff for comments, only one person responded to our request. Former campaign staffer Luke Fuller refused to comment, saying he no longer works for the Walker campaign and cannot reveal the source of his current employment.