'My doomed marriage and how I was outed by my lesbian lover': the off-court dramas of tennis ace Billie Jean King

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Billie Jean King burst out of the closet in spectacular style in 1987 and is now an outspoken activist for gay rights. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Alamy)
Billie Jean King burst out of the closet in spectacular style in 1987 and is now an outspoken activist for gay rights. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Alamy)

The tennis icon opens up about her life for the first time in her courageous new memoir, revealing how she wasted decades denying her sexuality.

She knew exactly what was expected of her when she became Billie Jean King’s lover: stay in the background and don’t attract too much attention.

It was the early 1970s and Marilyn Barnett knew only too well that the world wasn’t ready for one of its greatest female sporting stars to admit that she preferred women to men.

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