The Sting: The Story of Elizabeth Berkley

Goldberg: Herschel Walker may be lying about an ex-girlfriend’s abortion. Does it matter?

“[T]he first step we have to follow is to go undercover, so we found a woman who lived in Los Angeles. Her name was [name withheld], she worked at McDonald’s, she was single and she was willing to do it. We went to her apartment. There were no dogs, there wasn’t anybody, she was sitting in her living room.” — Richard Dreyfuss, actor and producer

The actress Elizabeth Berkley was an early participant in the filming of Richard Dreyfuss’s The Sting, which premiered on ABC in April 1982. Berkley had just turned 27 and had a baby with her husband, the filmmaker and actor Robert Wagner, who she also had a brief affair with. (Wagner appeared in some of the early filming of The Sting.) She subsequently was discovered to be pregnant, and Dreyfuss cast her to play a prostitute who’s involved in a love triangle with two men. (Wagner and Berkley ended their relationship.)

In early 1984, Berkley became pregnant again, after having an abortion. Her boyfriend, actor Herschel Walker, was upset, and they argued. Walker threatened to throw Berkley out of their apartment. Walker also stated that he considered Berkley to be dishonest, and their relationship was in jeopardy.

There was a period of time in which Berkley, Walker, and Dreyfuss discussed an approach that Dreyfuss’s production company could use to investigate Walker’s claims about his affair with Berkley. Dreyfuss’s idea for an undercover operation was based upon his experience as an investigative reporter: he’d been the first male reporter ever to file a report on the scandal surrounding the activities of the former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

In the summer of 1984, Dreyfuss, Walker, and an associate contacted Berkley. They offered to pay for and film an actual undercover operation, and she agreed to participate. In the end, Walker would not participate in the interview. On August 1, 1985, the three were arrested after a brief but intense police investigation.

In a letter to the police, Walker explained that in February 1984 he and Berkley had had a relationship

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