Ex-Tunisian tennis player accuses disgraced French coach of rape
August 29, 2023 10:36 PM
Former Tunisian tennis player Selima Sfar on Tuesday accused her former coach Regis de Camaret of repeatedly raping her from the age of 12.
Sfar went public about her sexual abuse for the first time in an interview with French sports daily L'Equipe.
"When I was 12 and a half, I was abused by Regis de Camaret... for almost three years," the now 46-year-old told the paper.
Camaret was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2014 for the aggravated rape of two underage girls at a training camp he ran in the Mediterranean resort of Saint Tropez in the 1980s and early 1990s.
In the interview with L'Equipe, Sfar recounted the first time Camaret had abused her, in his car on the way back to his home after picking her up at Bordeaux airport.
"I was paralysed, I couldn't move," she said.
"We continued the journey and arrived at his place late.
"Upstairs was his daughter and his bedroom, I slept on the sofa bed downstairs.
"I went to sleep and one or two hours later I awoke when he was touching me. It went from touching to rape very quickly."
Sfar, whose career spanned from 1993 to 2008 and who broke into the WTA top 100 in 2001, said she had never dared speak out before.
"It took me 25 years to admit it to myself, 35 years to talk about it publicly," she said.
Former French national champion Isabelle Demongeot was one of Camaret's pupils and she was among those who filed complaints against him.
"Respect to Isabelle Demongeot and all the women who spoke out," said Sfar.
She said during Camaret's trial she "went into a real depression".
"My parents and the people close to me were saying 'Thankfully you are strong, you wouldn't have let that happen'.
"You have no idea of the pain I felt every time I heard that, the shame that I had."
She recalled during the trial "the hell" she experienced, and "the dark thoughts" that entered her head.
She recalled "lying on the sofa in the dark for 48 hours, crying".
During her tennis career, she said "each time I was on the verge of a big win I froze".
Neither Camaret nor his representatives could be contacted by AFP.