I'm not siding with Hewitt - victim's mom

2015-02-17 17:15

Johannesburg - Despite not believing her daughter's claims that Bob Hewitt raped her, Judy Sheehan said she was not siding with the former Grand Slam tennis champion.

"I am not here to defend Mr Hewitt but to defend the truth as I know it," Sheehan told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Tuesday.

"It is for the court to judge Mr Hewitt. I'm here to defend the truth," Sheehan said during cross-examination by prosecutor Carina Coetzee.

Coetzee put it to her that her daughter Suellen Sheehan had told her that Hewitt raped her.

"She never told me," Sheehan replied.

Coetzee said Sheehan's denial was a self-defence mechanism.

"You feel guilty for not doing anything," said Coetzee.

"I am not one of those parents who would shy away from accepting child rape," Sheehan replied.

She claimed she would never have condoned it and, had it happened, she would never have allowed it to proceed.

The Sheehans' relationship with their daughter was fine until five-and-a-half years ago when they decided to stop supporting her financially.

Suellen, who sat at the back of the court, looked at her mother and smiled. She occasionally wrote notes in a book on her lap during her mother's testimony.

Sheehan said she was not friends with the Hewitts. They had never visited each other.

Suellen claimed Hewitt raped her in 1982 in his car after fetching her from school for tennis practise. She was 12 at the time.

Another woman has testified that Hewitt raped her in the 1980s. A third woman said Hewitt sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

Hewitt, now 75, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Suellen 's father Michael will testify next.

  • Chantelle Crocker Monaghan - 2015-02-17 18:22

    You only get paid if you are a witness for the prosecutors.

      Louise Cook - 2015-02-17 21:04

      Rubbish - the state will merely pay transport and accommodation costs if the prosecutor instructs you to be there are a witness. No witnesses are EVER paid money to testify, unless it's skilled professionals giving evidence in support of an argument.

  • Louise-Roger Higham - 2015-02-17 18:25

    Get a life woman children don't always tell their parents everything, I know it happened to me and my mother wouldn't have believed me

  • Bernd Kankowski - 2015-02-17 18:41

    At the time the mom did not believe her daughter because she was hoping that Bob could turn her into a tennis star and the parents could then sponge off her.

  • Scala Coetzee - 2015-02-17 20:12

    That women is not a mother she is a slug

      Shanna Abrahams - 2015-02-17 21:42

      Scala, that women is a woman. And you sound a bit scaly . . .

  • blade.runner.5817 - 2015-02-18 00:22

    Dispicable mother. Hope the worst for her.

      Christine Mannsberger - 2015-02-18 15:47

      Nigel, I have to agree with you - it seems that she has a few issues, the daughter - she even accused her own father of rape? She was angry with her boss and wanted to lay sexual harassment charges, just because? Nah, she is not well in her head sorry to say! I actually feel sorry for the mother, and even the sibling, a Warren complains abuot his sister and how she treated her son Michael? Not sure what the whole story there is, but yip, she is a problem child this one!

  • Art Conde - 2015-02-18 11:00

    Are you hiding something? Did you get free tennis lessons?

  • Bobbi Magagula - 2015-02-18 11:03

    In June 2013, the Daily News carried an article quoting a woman who said that she and at least 20 other mothers who were concerned about their young daughters' behavioural changes watched Hewitt fondle their daughters' breasts during coaching sessions. They confronted him thereafter. Perhaps the prosecution should have traced these responsible mothers for their testimony.

  • Wayne Shantel Moss - 2015-02-18 22:34

    He surely must have gjven her some lessons too.

  • Jemma Booyens - 2015-02-24 12:10

    Do any of you people accusing Judy Sheehan of being a terrible mother actually know her or the family personally? Well I do and she is one of the most caring and honourable woman I know. Her son can vouch for that too! So stop judging and get on with your boring lives!

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