Tennis captain Nastase accused of tormenting teenage player over virginity
"Whenever I saw him at any tournament he would ask me the same question," Shriver, a finalist in the 1978 US Open at the age of 16, told the BBC.
"When I got older, perhaps 20, and he asked me for about the 30th time, I said, 'would you please stop asking me that?'" Shriver said, adding that, “he never asked me again. I set a firm boundary and he stopped."
Her comments come after a series of events in recent days which placed Nastase, 70, firmly in the media spotlight. He reportedly made a racist comment about Serena Williams’ pregnancy before being banned from his team’s Fed Cup tie against Britain following a tirade of abuse at an umpire, a player and a captain.
Shriver said she spoke to friends about Nastase’s behavior when she was younger but never reported it. "This man has not been respectful of women for a long, long time," she said.
"Everybody has a couple of different sides to their personality and certainly not all of Ilie Nastase is evil and mean and sexist. But unfortunately he does not have a filter and there is a side that is, so he can't coach women players any more."
At a press conference on Friday in which Serena Williams’ pregnancy was being discussed, Nastase was reportedly heard saying to a team member, "Let's see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?"
The following day he reportedly asked Britain team captain Anne Keothavong for her room number.
Here's Nastase asking Keothavong for her room number. You'll have to lip read but it's not difficult pic.twitter.com/uft5uzoblK— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) April 21, 2017
Later, he was removed from a Fed Cup tie after a tirade of abuse that left British player Johanna Konta in tears.
The International Tennis Federation said in a statement that Nastase was issued with a provisional suspension, banning him from participating in the Fed Cup in “any capacity with immediate effect.” The Romanian Tennis Federation has not responded to requests for a response.
The ITF has released this statement regarding the provisional suspension of Ilie Nastase pic.twitter.com/Xf9R0PSi4D— ITF (@ITF_Tennis) April 23, 2017
Eleanor Crooke, a journalist who said she was abused verbally by Nastase at the press conference on Saturday, tweeted on Sunday that he did arrive at the Fed Cup, before being removed by the officials.
Unbelievable, Nastase has just walked in and gone into the VIP lounge— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) April 23, 2017
Was under impression Ilie Nastase had his accreditation revoked but he's just showed up back at venue. Now in VIP lounge.— Martha Kelner (@marthakelner) April 23, 2017
Nastase has left the building, and the tie is over after Robson and Rae defeat Halep and Niculescu to make it 3-2 to Romania— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) April 23, 2017