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Serena Williams speaks to Steubenville rape victim after comments

June 20, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Serena Williams, shown in May 2012, has apologized for comments attributed to her in a Rolling Stone article regarding the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case.
Serena Williams, shown in May 2012, has apologized for comments attributed… (Christophe Ena / Associated…)

Serena Williams has reached out to the victim in the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case after controversial comments were attributed to the tennis star in a Rolling Stone article earlier this week.

Williams had a 30-minute conversation with the victim, her mother and family lawyer Bob Fitzsimmons on the phone from England, where she is preparing for Wimbledon, according to Fitzsimmons.

“Serena was very nice, very sincere and it was a very well-received conversation among two women and a young lady,” the attorney said Thursday.

In the article, which first appeared on the magazine's website Tuesday, Williams was quoted as saying such things as "She shouldn't have put herself in that position" about the victim and "Do you think it's fair, what they got?" about the two football players convicted of raping the 16-year-old girl.

Williams apologized Wednesday in a statement on her website and said she always has and will continue to fight for women's rights.

“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,” Williams said. “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 victim's family accepted Williams' apology in a statement Wednesday, adding that the family was “proud of” Williams for her more recent remarks.

“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,” the family said in 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.”

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