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Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 10/24/14

Via Larry Brown Sports:

Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert were one of the most popular couples in sports in the 1970s. The two tennis stars were at the top of the food chain in their sport, which in many ways made them the ideal power couple. Connors and Evert were engaged to be married in 1974, but they split just weeks before their scheduled wedding date. The reason why may surprise you.

In his new memoir, “The Outsider,” Connors implied that he and Evert called off their wedding because of a complication that arose in their relationship when Evert became pregnant.

“An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion, and a decision had to be made as a couple,” Connors wrote in the book, via the NY Post. “Chrissie called to say she was coming out to LA to take care of the ‘issue.’ I was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.”

Connors was 22 at the time and Evert was 19. Having come from a strict Catholic home, Evert reportedly felt that the timing of the pregnancy was bad and that she had no other choice. Connors said she asked him to handle the “details” and had already made up her mind.

“Well, thanks for letting me know,” he said he told her. “Since I don’t have any say in the matter, then I guess I am just here to help.”

Connors said he later told Evert that it would be best if they “take a step back” in their relationship, which did not sit well with her and ultimately led to the split. He said they fought hard to work out their issues but that it became difficult because of their rising status as sports stars.

“Can two No. 1’s exist in the same family?” he wrote.

It seems to be working out fine for Jay-Z and Beyonce. Then again, plenty of our famous athlete-celebrity couples run into their fair share of problems.

PLAYERS: Jimmy Connors
60 Comments:
  • "Having come from a strict Catholic home" -- in which abortion is a mortal sin.

    Canon Law 1398: A person who actually procures an abortion incurs an automatic excommunication.

    In the Catholic denomination an abortion is defined as a homocide.
  • BS! So-called Catholics have abortions everyday! But what a class-less, poor thing to bring to the attention of the public after all these years. It does not change my opinion of Chris Evert but it dang sure changes my opinion of Jimmy Connors! Some things should remain private and he should know better!
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  • Are you talking about Ebay? I have never used it,but from what you say I will definitly try it. Thanks for heads up!
  • After reading Aggassi's book and his trashing of Conners, I wasn't sure I believed it. Now I do .
  • Well said, except for the Catholic part. I totally agree with you...it does change my opinion of someone I thought as a very high class player. He did it for more books to sell. That's always the bottom line!$$$$$$$$$$
  • Sounds to me like he's looking for attention at her expense, how sad.
  • Connors may very well have had a discussion with Evert about releasing the personal information. Why pass such judgement when you have no idea or information to support your negative rant. It's his and Chrisy's story to tell. Quite frankly, no one is asking for your opinion on what should be private. You don't like Connors. So what! I don't like you because of what you have written, especially with no supporting evidence. You should know better!
  • Actually, NO THEY DO NOT! If a Catholic has an abortion, they are automatically excommunicated!

    I do agree that Connors is classless revealing that about Evert. what a moron!
  • With all of the pedophiles and illicit sex going on in the catholic church, your only worry is about an abortion? It was her body, her choice..
  • ...and how is the weather in the 14th century today?
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  • Huh....I did not know that morality is old fashioned and murder was only a sin in the the 14th century.
  • How about all those Catholic divorces? Catholicism has become a cafeteria religion. Just pick and choose the things you want to believe off the menu and ignore the rest.
  • Not to many that actually go to Mass. I am blessed by being a Catholic!
  • It will be interesting to hear her take on this story.
  • I really don't see what's the point of bringing this up now all of these years later? It is just going to cause hurt feelings and dredge up all of the pain and embarassment that was felt all of those years ago. Not sure that I needed to know that. I admire both of your accomplishments as athletes, and I think that things happen in life for a reason and not everything has to be made public. Look at Jay Z and Beyonce', they kept a"big secret" and it has worked out just fine for them....
  • And he's talking about this now because no one has thought about him in decades??
  • Connors is a jerk. No wonder she dumped him. Its now over; he is not #1 anymore. No one cares what he does so he comes up with the "tell-all". Last Chance to be reverent. Sorry, all you did was show what a cad you are.............
  • Well, it doesn't surprise me that Jimmy Connors would reveal such a personal thing about someone else. I thought he wasn't a nice person since I first watched him play tennis many years ago. This is a very mean and hateful thing to do to someone he said he once loved...even though he was "willing accept responsibility".
  • It appears that Jimmy was all too eager to let the decision be all Chris's. He makes no mention of any attempt to discuss alternatives such as adoption or convince her that she should at listen to his "say in the matter". Signs of true cowardice on his part. Put it all on her. That's not the way a 22 year old man should handle such a troubling decision by his teenage girlfriend.
  • We see a perfect example of how Church teachings (it isn't part of the actual theology, since it's too new) might have to take a back seat to the real world. When it would derail at least one million-dollar-a-year career, and possibly both, a rule made up by elderly unmarried virgins is easy to quote if it's not YOUR mess. It was their business, and their business ONLY, and no one has the right to judge them.
  • Jimmy Connors ought to keep his mouth shut. That's a horrible thing to relate about anyone. Shame on him - hope your book goes right down the old crapper with you. Have you no pride?
  • For the record, I am pro-choice.

    But, this issue is the direct result of the "woman's right to choose" mentality. I'm not saying government should have any say in it, but I am advocating that the decision should involve the TWO people who are the "source" of the problem.

    I realize that it's not always the case (it's easier for guys to "fire and forget"). And there are also exceptions -- rape, incest, mother's life at risk -- all those trump a meaningful discussion and decision on the matter. Still -- if SHE alone makes the choice then HE has to live with it or leave. It'd be a little tougher if they were married, but IMNSHO it should be valid grounds for divorce.

    Sad that they couldn't make it work. They were a cute couple.
  • I love that children are "the problem" for some.
  • How dare this pompous bastard release such private information that was not his to reveal. I hate him even more than before.
  • But it IS half his information to reveal. It takes 2 to make the baby. Maybe he is disappointed after all these years about not having the child. I'll bet if this was some "right wing christian bigot" you would be applauding the exposure.
  • How dare Jimmy Conners be so disrespectful! Judge not and ye shall not be judged!In other words,are you that pittiful that your going to bring up mistakes,that is to say they are true,of a ninteen year old!If you feel the need to be in the media, help build new homes in Wright Texas,or volunteer at a food bank.
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  • 1. Connors is a selfish moron
    2. What are Beyonce and Jay-Z number 1 at!!!????
  • Exactly ~ no clue as to what B&J are so famous for at all...and they certainly aren't "#1" at anything except maybe getting in the news.
  • Chris Evert has always held a VERY HIGH opinion of herself. It doesn't surprise me she had an abortion. She also broke up Greg Norman's marriage while she was still married to someone else. She seems to be very vain.
  • Back in the day most fans couldn't stand either one of them. He was a well known Mamma's boy and she was an Ice Princess. Still everyone knew that their relationship really ended because he was some kind of j...off. Probably called her Gloria in a moment of passion....
  • Your comment sounds like revisionists history to me. Back in the 70's they both were on top of the tennis world and the fans LOVED them! A very large stretch to say what EVERYONE knew because NOBODY I knew then or know now knew what split them up 35+ years ago. Jimmy brought some energy to a sport that greatly needed it. Chrissy was solid and consistent and beautiful. They were loved by many tennis fans individually and collectively. Sounds like sour grapes to me Bill.
  • How sad! I cannot tell a lie: she did it!

    No one respects a whimpering snitch.
  • I would love to know how Chris Evert feels about the abortion today and if she has any regrets about it. Liberals seem to discuss the issue of abortion so casually, without talking about the consequences and mental after effects.
  • I think it's an effort to appear laid-back, cool, "righteously" nonjudgmental.(unless, of course, you are conservative, then they'll judge you into oblivion) Their "cool" president Obama behaves in the same way, legs up on the desk in the Oval Office, or sprawled out like a teenager during executive coat and tie meetings with professionals. Annoying and embarrassing.
  • mariaa-Wow, it's a good thing that God made you judge and jury. I love the way that you and 47murph label the "liberals" and their cool president.

    Do either of you think you might be just a little narrow minded?
  • There is no "judge and jury". It's called an opinion. You're as judgmental as anyone else on this board. You don't like a conservative opinion, too bad. Live with it.
  • Wow what an incredibly personal issue to throw out to the world after so many years. He still is a classless jerk.
  • I am Catholic but I don't agree with the church on so many issues. Look at the many families at Mass on Sunday...Do you see any of them with a dozen kids? I guess they don't go along with the Pope on birth control. I would of had a kid every year if I left it up to God!
  • Ever heard of Natural Family Planning. Not that difficult.
  • From what I have read from people that played with and were around these two is: How much of an A-hole he was and how much of a Snob she was. Sounds like they were a tennis match made in hell to me. probably both wanted to control the relationship. Sounds like time hasn't changed them one bit.
  • I thought the same thing.
  • He didn't imply anything... he said it. Why after all these years bring it up. How hurtful. What a classless guy.
  • Oh common Ladies and Gents..back in '74 was the Woman's Lib movement ..ie. the "power to have an abortion". SO its Possible ring leader "Gloria Steinman" accompanied Chris Evert to the LA 'abortion clinic' (that's assumed when Chris told Jimmy that she was coming to L.A. to take care of 'the issue'). Just think of the Great Publicity for the Women's movement had Chris Event, Gloria Steinhem, Billie Jean King, GRace Slick, Jane Fonda, Liza Minelli, and "ultra Hot' Bobbie Gentry all come out hand in hand supporting Womens respect & Rights in All industries. It was the 1970s' man...Right On...
  • Some folks believe that Chris Evert was a pompous princess. They may be correct. But she doesn't deserve this kind of publicity. Who cares what happened back in 1974 between two consenting adults? It is none of my business. What makes Jimmy Connor's statements believable? He has no credibility with me. Jimmy Connors is attempting to sell books with salacious allegations that are unsubstantiated. I won’t read his book of trash. At the very least he is a verifiable betrayer; at the worst he is a prevaricator who should be sued for libel in the form of written defamation of character.
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  • Catch the new L-I-V-E BOOK ‘Between Strangers” at thegreaterbooks. A CIA head get caught up guarding a Greek heiress.
  • This is sad to hear.. But the real tradegy is the unborn child if that was the case..
    Just think two power house tennis players..
    I can only imagine what he/she (baby) could of been able to achieve today playing tennis..Would of probably been amazing at the game
  • Jimmy Connors was always an a!!hole and obviously still is.
  • Since 1973 there have been an estimated 58 MILLION ABORTIONS done within the USA. That amounts to almost 1/5 of our countries population. It does matter, it does suck, and it is very sad.
  • Memoirs typically cover significant events in a person's life. This WAS a big event for Jimmy. So, for those of you who say that he shouldn't be talking about it, you're being ridiculous. We're all adults. We understand how the world works. Many people want all the supposed advantages of abortion without dealing with its consequences. Jimmy was TOLD that Evert was getting an abortion. He didn't have an ability to prevent her from doing so. This is the consequence of giving a woman sole right to determine the destiny of an unborn child, and ignoring the father's right. This is his story, and he has a right to tell it. For those of you who are offended by his candor, you either live in a different century, or you don't recognize Jimmy's right to have his story heard. Either way, you're ridiculous. Jimmy was an important sports figure, and his influences on the game are still felt today. I say let him tell his story, and everyone should just deal with it. If nothing else, it will perhaps serve as a warning to young people who are faced with similar choices between career and doing the right thing.
  • You're so RIGHT, Yaard...the father SHOULD have an equal right to choose an abortion...the first time he gets pregnant, that is.
  • So blame a defenseless baby for the fact that men don't get pregnant, huh. It's always about the woman, all the time, in your feminist world, isn't it.
  • In the 1980's, I was on a transatlantic flight in 1st class with Connors and about six of his fawning clique. Connors was loud, narcissistic and obnoxious for the flight duration. When intermittently asked to quiet down, Connors became even louder, ruder and more vulgar. The stewardesses had a very hard time with him. Based on my first hand encounter with this ultimate boor, I have no idea how Evert or anyone nice could have put up with him on a daily basis.
  • Too bad. That kid would have been an incredibly talented tennis player.
  • Why is everyone on Connors back for outing sweet little Chrissy as a baby killer? Abortion the accepted standby for birth control isn't it. Ooops, I'm knocked up! No problem I'll just skip down to the grim reaper and get rid of the little imp.
    Never mind poor Chrissy her day is just fine tell me how's that baby doing.
    Abortion is murder...............Period!
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