French tennis star Angelique Cauchy has revealed that her coach raped her 400 times from the age of 12 and even falsely convinced her she had AIDS.
Testifying in French parliament, the former tennis player told of her horrifying ordeal with Andrew Geddes who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the rape and sexual assault of four young girls in 2021.
During his trial, the court was told of the 55-year-old’s brutal sexual abuse – which he often recorded – at his home, in his car or at the tennis club.
Ms Cauchy, now 36, began working with Geddes at Sarcelles Tennis Club, Paris, in 1999 when she was 12 and France’s second junior player.
Within a few months the abuse began, with the coach telling her: ‘You know it happens sometimes in relationships between coach and student, we spend a lot of time together, it’s normal.’
She said that, at the beginning, Geddes would take her to see Paris Saint German FC play at their home ground. Over two years, she said the relationship quickly became abusive and he raped her 400 times.
In harrowing detail, she told the Palais Bourbon how he raped her three times a day during a two-week period at a training camp.
‘I lived the worst two weeks of my life. I thought many times about committing suicide. He raped me three times a day. The first night he asked me to go to his room and I didn’t do it, then he came into mine. I was in prison,’ she said.
She described how he had manipulated her so much that she started to voluntarily visit his room at night.
‘The evenings after, it seems crazy, but I went there on my own, and I took those 13 steps that separated me from his room,’ she explained.
Geddes then went on to emotionally manipulate and gaslight Ms Cauchy, convincing her that he had given her AIDS.
‘He came to tell me one day: “I have AIDS, that’s for sure, I gave it to you.” At the end of the 1990s, it was something that was much scarier than now, it paralysed me. I lived from 13 to 18 years old thinking I had AIDS. But he lied to me, just to destroy me. It was perhaps even more destructive than the rape,’ she told France Info.
When a member of the tennis club complained of Geddes’ predatory and abusive behaviour, the club president allegedly replied: ‘Yes, but he brings us titles.’
An inquiry was launched in July, examining the ‘operational failures within sports federations, the sports movement and governance bodies’. Following testimonies given this summer at the Palais Bourbon, the report is expected to be released in December.