Monday 23 April 2018

Venus Williams breaks down crying after question about fatal crash with Jerome Barson following Wimbledon win

Venus Williams broke down in tears at Wimbledon and needed to leave a press conference when asked about the fatal car crash she is being sued over in the United States.

The five-time Wimbledon singles champion was a 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 winner against Belgium's Elise Mertens on Court One, and afterwards met with the media as normal.

Williams had previously written on Facebook that she was "heartbroken" over the crash which occurred in her Florida home town on June 9.

According to police, the 37-year-old was crossing a junction when her vehicle collided with a car being driven by Linda Barson, whose husband Jerome was in the passenger seat. Mr Barson died 13 days later.

Civil court documents filed last Friday by the couple's daughter Audrey Gassner-Dunayer in Palm Beach County, Florida, claim Williams was "driving carelessly and recklessly" which "led to the catastrophic injuries and death of Jerome Barson".

When asked about the crash in her first press conference since arriving in London, Williams said: "There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and - yeah. I'm completely speechless."

At that point she began to cry and after an awkward silence left the room, before returning shortly afterwards, with the moderator suggesting subsequent questions focused on tennis.

When a reporter then asked Williams if being back in the tennis fold helped to "heal those wounds you feel at the moment", she declined to answer the question.

Press Association

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