Tennis legend in paedophile scandal


There’s a pile of pills on the table next to Suellen Sheehan. They’re the sleeping pills and antidepressants she takes in an attempt to blot out the pain of things a man did to her 30 years ago.

His name is Bob Hewitt (above). To thousands of South Africans he’s a tennis hero but the day Suellen met him was the start of a nightmare from which she hasn’t recovered. She’s now 42 but in 1981, when it all happened, she was a mere child.

Her eyes fill with tears. “I must have been about 12 when Bob first had sex with me. Is that any way for someone to learn about love? On the front seat of that damn blue Saab with a man who’s 30 years older than me?”

In August US newspaper The Boston Globe investigated Hewitt’s past after American Heather Conner alleged he’d had sex with her when she was 14 and he was her coach. After she charged him with rape five women made similar allegations. Suellen is one of them.

YOU’s Sulaiman Philip talked to Suellen and three other women about the sexual abuse they allegedly experienced. Read more in YOU 15 December 2011.

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