Judy Murray, the tennis coach and mother of former World number one Andy Murray, has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by an education executive at an official dinner.
Ms Murray said that the assault took place eight years ago, but the 62-year-old said she was inspired to speak out about the incident after hearing about the Scottish Football Writers’ Association dinner.
Last week at the SFWA awards, the keynote speaker is alleged to have included several sexist and misogynistic comments in their speech, which led to BBC presenter Eilidh Barbour and others walking out.
Ms Murray went on to condemn the behaviour, which sparked a renewed debate around sexism in sports journalism.
Murray is the winner of 64 titles in Scotland during her junior and senior career as a player but turned to coaching during the 1980s, training both of her sons as well as many players at regional and national level.
In December 2011, Murray was elected to lead the British Fed Cup team as their captain and took the job in part to raise the profile of female coaches and challenge some of the sexism that she has said still remains in the sport.
What happened to Judy Murray?
The incident Ms Murray alleges took place occured at an after-dinner panel for a ‘major education establishment’ and involved a ‘very senior person from that organisation.’
Speaking to the Sunday Post, Ms Murray said that the incident left her feeling ‘sick to my stomach’ as she said a man first put his hand on her knee and then down her trousers.
“Towards the end of the meal, it was clear that he had had quite a bit to drink and he put his hand firstly on my knee.
“I didn’t know what to do so I removed his hand and leaned forward to pour myself some water and as I did he slipped his hand down the back of my trousers.
“At that point, I got up and went straight to the bathroom. I wanted to throw up. It rocked me so badly. I sat in the loos for ages and decided to do the speech - the show must go on and all that - but I didn’t go back into the room until I knew it was time for me to go on stage.
“As soon as I had done my bit, I walked back to the table, picked up my bag and left. I spoke to nobody. The incident left me feeling sick to my stomach for a long time.”
What happened at the SFWA Awards?
Eilidh Barbour posted on Twitter the morning after the SFWA awards dinner saying: “Never have I felt so unwelcome in the industry I work in than sitting at the Scottish Football Writers Awards.
“A huge reminder there is still so much to do in making our game an equal place.”
It is still unknown what exactly was said at the awards dinner but Women in Journalism Co-chair Gabriella Bennett also took to the social media platform to say that the speech delivered by a ‘keynote speaker’ was full of ‘sexist and racist jokes.’
Bennett also said that her table left the awards dinner at the same time that Barbour’s table did.
The SFWA has since apologised for the speech that left many attendees shocked and offended.