Retired neurosurgeon and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said he once refused a DNA test to settle a "blackmail" paternity lawsuit because the only woman he has ever slept with is his wife Candy.
The devout Seventh-day Adventist first publicly talked about the story in 2003 according to Mediaite and discussed it openly as recently as last year in an op-ed for The Washington Times in which he referred to it as the "blackmail threat."
At a commencement speech in 2003 said Mediate, Carson revealed that he had been sued for paternity by a Florida woman who claimed to have given birth to his love child. A video clip from the speech is highlighted by daily motion.
"A few years ago I was in the operating room, and I got a phone call from one of the Hopkins attorneys, and they said that the state of Florida was trying to attach my wages for child support. And I said 'Well, I have three children, and I support them very well,'" said Carson.
"They said 'No, there's a lady in Florida who claims that you are the father of her son. And she has provided evidence of same. She told where you went to high school, where you went to college, where you went to medical school, where you did your internship and residency, how you went to Australia after that, she even has a picture of you in scrubs,'" Carson continued.
"Well, you know, all that is public knowledge, so how are they going to pursue that on the basis of public knowledge? But they were going to do it, I had to get my attorney involved, and it escalated. And finally, they said 'Well, we can resolve all of this if you send us some of your blood, and we can do DNA testing. And I said 'Wait a minute, you people, as incompetent as you are, want me to send you a specimen of my blood?'" explained Carson. "'The next thing I know, it will be in a murder scene, and I'll be in prison for the rest of my life,' I said 'There's no way you're getting my blood.'"
Carson noted that the case eventually died down after he got his lawyers involved but added that it also went away because he stood his ground.
"… The reason it died is because I stood boldly, I never caved. But there was a reason that I never caved. Because I knew that in my entire life, the only woman I had ever slept with was my wife," said Carson.
In his most recent discussion of the episode in The Washington Times, Carson explained that the woman may have thought he was an easy mark.
"I'm virtually certain that the woman in Florida erroneously assumed that someone who travels as much as I do was probably engaging in numerous extramarital affairs and probably wouldn't even remember all the parties with whom he had been involved. Under such circumstances, she assumed that I would be willing to fork over the money to avoid public embarrassment," said Carson.
"What she didn't know is that I did not have to scratch my head and try to remember which affair she represented, because I knew that the only woman I have ever slept with in my life was my wife. Even if that had not been the case, I think confession and dealing with the consequences would have been the best course of action," he added.
Carson further went on in The Washington Times piece to highlight the blackmail case of America's first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton. He noted that Hamilton "was seduced by the wife of a political enemy with the intention of blackmailing him into complying with their wishes. Hamilton publicly confessed his transgression and the public forgave him, completely thwarting the plans of his adversaries."
A report by The Washington Post however noted that it was not that simple for Hamilton.
Hamilton had an affair with 23-year-old Maria Reynolds in 1791. When her husband James Reynolds learned of the relationship he threatened to tell Hamilton's wife unless he got hush money. Hamilton paid and the affair continued.
Reynolds eventually told some of Hamilton's political rivals and he died with his reputation "in tatters."
The reports by The Washington Post as well as Mediate wondered if Carson was trying to get ahead of a story by his most recent discussion of the episode in his life.
The moral of the story, as pointed out by Carson is: "I think the American people are just as forgiving today if people are willing to be honest. With so much at stake regarding our country's future, I think now would be an excellent time to come clean for all national public figures who have been threatened by Chicago-style politics or who know that there are skeletons in their closet."
Perhaps in an apparent knock at the suggestion that he may be trying to get ahead of a story, Carson's camp made a parody video of the news and posted it to his Facebook page noting: "The campaign staff wanted to make sure to stay ahead of any possible 'breaking stories' coming out in the news today. You heard it here first folks."