Serena Williams has reached out to the family of the Steubenville rape victim after the tennis star made comments that seemed to place some responsibility on the 16-year-old girl.
Serena caused a stir last week when a Rolling Stone article quoted her as saying the 16-year-old rape victim “shouldn’t have put herself in that position.” Now in England focusing on Wimbledon, where she enters ranked No. 1, Williams took time out of her practice schedule to reach out the the family of the Steubenville rape victim.
“Serena was very nice, very sincere and it was a very well-received conversation among two women and a young lady,” attorney Bob Fitzsimmons said Thursday.
The Steubenville rape case story became national news last year after details of the case leaked out. Many outsiders accused officials in the small Ohio town of protecting the high school football players accused in the attack.
In the Rolling Stone article, Serena Williams made it clear that she didn’t blame the victim, but her statement still seemed to show a bit of sympathy for the two football players convicted of the crime.
“I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article,” Serena said in a statement. “What was written — what I supposedly said — is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.”
The family accepted the apology and praised Serena Williams, seemingly understanding her mistake.
“We are sure Serena has & will continue to use her God given talents to advance women’s equality and send the message that rape is never acceptable under any circumstance,” according to the statement released by Fitzsimmons “We are fans of Serena and will continue rooting for many more championships but more importantly watching her advance the cause of rape victims who are never to blame.”
Serena Williams maintains that she was misquoted in her remarks about the Steubenville rape victim, saying she was “deeply saddened” by the crime and noting that she has often been an advocate for women’s rights.