Former Wimbledon finalist sexually harassed ‘at least 30 times’ by WTA staff member

·2-min read
Andrea Jaeger competes at Wimbledon in 1982 (Getty Images)
Andrea Jaeger competes at Wimbledon in 1982 (Getty Images)

Former Wimbledon finalist Andrea Jaeger says she was sexually harassed “at least 30 times” in the women’s locker room during her career by a WTA staff member.

In an interview with The Independent, Jaeger, who turned professional at just 14 years old and peaked at No 2 in the world rankings, also alleged that she was unknowingly served alcohol at a post-tournament party before a different WTA employee drove her home and attempted to kiss her. She was 16 at the time.

Jaeger, 57, said that when she attempted to make a complaint to someone at the WTA, she was threatened and told not to raise the issue again.

The WTA have been approached for comment.

“[At tournaments] I’d change in portable toilets or a bathroom stall because I didn’t want to deal with the comments, the interest or actions of people,” Jaeger said.

“I had at least 30 incidents with one specific non-playing staff member, physical attempts all in the locker room very, very early in my career. That particular non-playing staff employee had a major issue keeping her hands to herself.

“I avoided being in training rooms alone because an approach was made on me there as well.”

Andrea Jaeger, aged 16, competes at Wimbledon in 1981 (Getty Images)
Andrea Jaeger, aged 16, competes at Wimbledon in 1981 (Getty Images)

Jaeger said she was served three alcoholic drinks at a players’ party following the WTA Championships in 1982 before she was subjected to another physical approach by a different employee who was giving her a lift home.

“The person walked me to the door of my condo and tried something on me at the door. They were trying to kiss me,” she said. “I was so sickened by what happened and the drink that [when I got inside] I was crawling up the stairs trying not to throw up so my dad wouldn’t see me.”

Jaeger says she was reluctant to tell her father or speak out publicly at the time as she didn’t want to become a “poster child” for abuse in sports or detract from the success of the flourishing women’s circuit. When she complained privately to someone at the WTA, she says she was threatened.

“I said this has got to stop. Every week I have to worry about this s***,” she said. “They said if you say one more word about this, we’ll make sure your sister’s scholarship at Stanford gets pulled. Every time I tried to stand up for myself, I was threatened with someone else getting harmed.”

Jaeger retired in 1985 due to a shoulder injury when she was just 19 years old. She used the prize money from her tennis career to start the Little Star Foundation, which continues to support children who’ve endured abuse, neglect or are living with long-term illnesses and diseases across the United States.

Read the full story – Andrea Jaeger: The dark truth behind a tennis star’s burnout

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