Iga Swiatek has expressed empathy for Fiona Ferro after the French tennis player filed charges against her ex-coach Pierre Bouteyre over rape and se*ual assault. According to Ferro, the inappropriate actions were taking place between 2012 and 2015, when she was aged 15 to 18.
"Honestly, I've never had a situation like that, so it's hard for me to even think about how it must feel," Swiatek said. "It's not something that it's always visible. I'm really sorry that it happened to Fiona. Honestly, my life experience isn't so big that I can really say a lot about that.
I wouldn't know how it feels. I hope that if something like that happens, we're going to kind of be safe and have trust in the WTA that they're going to take care of this stuff properly. I'm sure they're doing that."
Swiatek offers empathy for Ferro
After Ferro's allegations were made public by French media, Bouteyre's lawyer said his client wasn't denying that there were se*ual acts, but that they were consensual.
Ferro then released a statement, in which she made it clear that she did never consent to se*ual acts with her ex-coach. “I take note of Pierre Bouteyre’s position on my accusation of acts of rape and se*ual assault by a person in authority.
I confirm that I did not consent and that the rapes and se*ual assaults were committed by moral constraint according to article 222-24 of the Penal Code,” Ferro said in a statement. “I place all my trust in the justice system of my country and confirm that I do not want to make any other declaration on the criminal investigation procedure." In the past, Bouteyre also worked with Alize Cornet. After Cornet heard about Ferro's allegations, she reached out to fellow French player and offered her support.