Serena Williams Apologizes for Seeming to Blame Steubenville Rape Victim

Truth rating: 10

By Shari Weiss

(Getty Images)

Serena Williams is apologizing for controversial comments she made about the Steubenville rape case in Rolling Stone. Back in March, two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted of raping a drunk 16-year-old girl and taking photos of the naked victim.

In the magazine piece, Williams watches a news segment about the case, and then wonders aloud whether the boys’ sentences to juvenile detention were “fair.” “I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people,” Williams is quoted as saying.

She allegedly continued, “She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Victims’ advocates were outraged by the tennis legend seeming placing the blame on the victim. Williams has now distanced herself from the comments in a statement posted on her website:

“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and at only sixteen, is such a horrible tragedy! For both families involved – that of the rape victim and of the accused. 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. 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.

I have fought all of my career for women’s equality, women’s equal rights, respect in their fields – anything I could do to support women I have done. My prayers and support always goes out to the rape victim. In this case, most especially, to an innocent sixteen year old child.”

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