Hewitt replies to abuse claims

2013-07-24 11:32
Bob Hewitt (File)
Cape Town - Former SA tennis star Bob Hewitt has responded to the media report in which the parents of the woman accusing him of rape as a 12-year-old, brandished their daughter a liar.

Mike and Judy Sheehan, the parents of Suellen Sheehan, spoke to the Daily News website in an attempt to clear their names, after their "humiliation and embarrassment" at the claims by their daughter that they did nothing about the alleged abuse.

Hewitt echoed the sentiments of Mike and Judy Sheehan, expressing his gratitude that they had the courage to come forward and confirm that they first heard by their daughter when they read about them in the newspapers two years ago.

Mike Sheehan confirmed that 'there was never an opportunity (for the abuse to take place) as his wife used to take their daughter to the tennis courts, sit there and take her home, and that she was never coached one-on-one'.

Furthermore, Hewitt added that Suellen's coaching was done by his assistant who noticed her talent and brought her into the squad - and not by (Hewitt) himself.

Judy Sheehan was quick to state that if told of the abuse when her daughter was being coached, 'anybody who knows her and her husband will tell you that they would never have let something like that go.'

"We would have never let Bob Hewitt get away with that,” she confirmed.

Hewitt agreed that that is what should have happened - if it were true - many years ago, and not to now claim "abuse”.

Mike Sheehan also stated that although he cannot speak for the other girls who have accused Hewitt of abuse, when it comes to his daughter - as Hewitt has repeated - her claims have no credibility.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Suellen Sheehan confirmed she had contacted the Daily News - who published the article regarding her parents stance on the matter - and had them block all reader comments posted.

The post read: Regarding the article in the newspaper. To my family and their friends. A phone call closed the comments page. That is the power I have over you and none of you can handle it. Sorry but you are outnumbered. If you were decent, considerate people you would not be making this about you number one and number two if it was me I'd make some kind of an attempt to fix what is broken instead of making it more broken. This is a lesson on how to make yourselves look even worse than you already do. Your desire to defend yourself is too little too late. You should have been available for comment two years ago.

Hewitt concluded that he hoped in light of the latest developments, people would come forward in support of him.

Read more on:    bob hewitt  |  tennis

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