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Serena Williams apologizes for ‘what I supposedly said’ about rape

Serena Williams, shown in this month's French Open final, has apologized for comments attributed to her in a Rolling Stone article.
(Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Serena Williams has issued an apology for insensitive comments attributed to her in Rolling Stone magazine -- even though she also suggests she never made them.

Williams is featured in an article posted Tuesday on the magazine’s website. Toward the end of the piece, writer Stephen Rodrick describes watching television with the tennis superstar:

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“We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville [Ohio] rape case flashes on the TV -- two high school football players raped a drunk 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. ‘Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.’ ”

Williams posted a response to that portion of the article on her website:

“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and at only sixteen, is such a horrible tragedy! For both families involved -- that of the rape victim and of the accused. I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. What was written -- what I supposedly said -- is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.

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“I have fought all of my career for women’s equality, women’s equal rights, respect in their fields -- anything I could do to support women I have done. My prayers and support always goes out to the rape victim. In this case, most especially, to an innocent sixteen year old child.”

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