Wimbledon favourite Serena Williams has been criticised by outraged Twitter users after she told a magazine that a 16-year-old rape victim shouldn't have been drunk - and that she was lucky the attack wasn't 'much worse'.
The world Number 1 tennis star made her controversial comments during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
She was asked about the conviction of High school football players Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond who were each sentenced to a year in juvenile detention in March for raping the intoxicated teenager in Steubenville, Ohio.
She said: "Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don't know.
"I'm not blaming the girl, but if you're a 16-year-old and you're drunk like that, your parents should teach you 'don't take drinks from other people'.
"She's 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn't remember? It could have been much worse. She's lucky. Obviously I don't know, maybe she wasn't a virgin, but she shouldn't have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that's different."
Her remarks prompted a wave of criticism on Twitter.
One user, Jamil Smith, tweeted: "Pro tip for @serenawilliams or others discussing rape: if 'I'm not blaming the girl, but &" exits your mouth, stop there. There is no 'but'."
Another, Sabrina Siddiqui, wrote: "Disappointing that powerful woman like Serena Williams, who many young girls look up to, blames the victim."
And Kate R tweeted: "Seems Serena Williams needs a muzzle. Or compassion for a teenage rape victim? Either or..."
Auser called JB wrote: "Hopefully Serena Williams realises her mess & fixes it. So many women look up to her."