Melanie Oudin has become the talk of tennis due to her surprising success at the US Open. But unfortunately, Melanie’s magical run came to an end Wednesday night with a straight-set loss to Caroline Wozniacki. Still, congrats are in order for the 17-year-old for creating such a fascinating story at Flushing Meadows this year.
(The Oudins [L-R]: Melanie, dad John, mom Leslie, sis Katherine)
Now Melanie’s about to learn a valuable lesson when it comes to achieving newly found fame: Everybody wants to know everything about you, no matter how private you’d prefer to keep it. As such, Oudin’s sweet story has turned a bit sour with news that her parents are divorcing - over accusations that Melanie’s mom had an affair with Melanie’s coach.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED reports that in July 2008, Melanie’s father John had filed for divorce from Melanie’ mother Leslie. John had accused Leslie of being “unfaithful during marriage” - namely, that she was having an affair with Brian de Villiers, Melanie’s 51-year-old coach.
Leslie had originally denied the allegations. But a year later, John made a sworn statement last month that both Leslie and Brian had admitted to him separately about the affair. John said even Melanie and her sisters had suspicions about their mom:
“Both [Melanie and her twin sister, Katherine] asked me point blank if I thought Mom was having an affair with Brian. When I asked why they had suspicions, Melanie told on one occasion she woke up at 1:00 a.m. in her hotel room and Leslie was not there. She called Brian’s cell phone and connected with her.”
As expected, Melanie’s agent Sam Duvall said the family would not comment on the ongoing divorce proceedings - and neither would DeVilliers. A mediation hearing is set for December 7.
So Melanie’s feel-good story is completely ruined - or so laments Bill Dwyre of the LOS ANGELES TIMES:
All the nice things about (Melanie) remain accurate and worth saying.
But once again, the adults have apparently found a way to wreck things for the kids.
Before this became public, there would be no asterisks next to what Oudin achieved. No slants, few downsides. Just praise for hard work and a job well done, under great pressure on a very public stage.
Now, that will come with rolled eyes. Scandal attracts better than success.
I greatly doubt that in the records of the 2009 US Open, there’s going to be an asterisk placed next to Melanie’s name with the footnote, “Parents going through divorce after mom cheated on dad with coach”. Besides, once the Open is over & done with, attention toward Melanie is bound to wane a bit. How many people these days are still talking about Olympic star Alicia Sacramone?
Still, it would be interesting to see Mark Whicker’s take on this situation. Let the adultery & divorce-themed hilarity ensue!