Joe Walsh threatens lawsuit over child support story

The GOPer says he'll sue the Chicago Sun-Times for a story about his attempt to stop paying child support

Published February 12, 2013 5:55PM (EST)

Former Congressman Joe Walsh says he will sue the Chicago Sun-Times over an article about Walsh's attempt to stop paying child support.

In a February 1st filing, Walsh, R-Ill., filed a  “motion to terminate child support obligation," the Sun-Times first reported.

Walsh, who was painted as a "deadbeat dad" during the 2012 campaign after his ex-wife filed a suit claiming he owed over $100k in child support, ultimately lost his seat to Tammy Duckworth.

“Joe’s employment has been terminated through no voluntary act of his own and he is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation,” the filing says. “Due to substantial change of circumstances, Joe requests that his child support obligation be terminated based on his present income and circumstances.”

Walsh asked to reduce his payments to 20 percent of his income, which is currently zero. "But once again, Walsh insists he’s no deadbeat," the Sun-Times wrote.

In a statement titled "I Will Sue the Chicago Sun-Times," Walsh writes that “Two weeks ago, I did what every other father who is paying child support is supposed to do — by law — when their employment situation changes: I modified my support agreement. With my congressional term ending on Jan. 3, and with my ex-wife having been paid in full through my term in Congress, by law, I filed a modification of my support payments for my remaining un-emancipated child for these next four months."

“This article by the Sun-Times is a deliberate attempt to defame me, and I will sue them immediately," he writes. "My adult children have been my life. I pledged to them two years ago that I would fight these charges privately to keep them out of the news, but with the Chicago Sun-Times fabricating a story, I am, at long last, going to fight back."

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

MORE FROM Jillian Rayfield

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Chicago Sun-times Illinois Joe Walsh Republicans Tea Party