Bid to discredit alleged Hewitt victim
Share this article:
Johannesburg - The credibility of one of former Grand Slam tennis champion Bob Hewitt's alleged victims came under the spotlight on Tuesday as journalists testified about interviews she had granted them.
Charmaine Slater, of the Bedfordview and Edenvale News, testified that Suellen Sheehan contacted her in November 2011 to tell her what Hewitt had allegedly done to her.
During the interview, Sheehan told Slater that Hewitt gave her tennis lessons from when she was nine until she was 14.
Sheehan said Hewitt raped her when she was 11. Sheehan has, however, testified that Hewitt raped her in his car in 1982, when she was 12.
On Tuesday, the court heard that Slater sent Sheehan a copy of the article shortly after it was published.
At the time Sheehan had responded with: “Wow.”
Slater asked her whether she liked it.
“I think you did a fantastic job,” Sheehan responded via e-mail.
The e-mails were entered as exhibits for the trial.
Slater claimed the article was a “very true reflection” of her interview with Sheehan and its contents were never disputed.
She only heard of her complaints when she was subpoenaed on Thursday to appear in court.
Slater was the second journalist to testify on Tuesday.
Sheehan is one of two women who have testified that Hewitt raped them in the 1980s. A third witness claimed she was sexually assaulted by Hewitt in the 1990s.
Hewitt, 75, is on trial for two counts of rape and one of indecent assault.
Sheehan has told the court she was misquoted in several newspaper articles, particularly on her age when Hewitt allegedly raped her.