Bulgarian PM accused of sexually harassing junior tennis player
From online dispatches
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (L) and tennis player Sesil Karatantcheva. EPA, REUTERS photos
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has been accused of sexually harassing a 14-year-old tennis player when he was the country's interior minister in 2004.
Tennis player Sesil Karatantcheva, now 22, said Borissov sent her erotic text messages when she was 14 and called her to his hotel room in a separate instance when she was 15, according to a report by İsmail Şahin of daily Vatan.
Karatantcheva said she met Borissov while she was practicing at Levski sports compounds in Sofia in 2004.
"We played a game of tennis with a wager of 20 or 50 levs. I lost the game and when I approached Borissov to pay the money, he said he wanted a rematch instead. I accepted his offer and we exchanged phone numbers. The first message from Borissov came half an hour later. I do not fully remember it but it was very ugly and erotic considering it was sent to a 14 year old," the tennis player was quoted as saying.
Karatantcheva said she showed the message to her father but the "texts kept coming." Borissov allegedly sent numerous messages to Karatantcheva asking how she was, to which she replied with short messages such as "I need to practice."
One year later, in 2005, Karatantcheva was invited to a dinner at the Bulgarian Tennis Federation after she qualified for the junior quarter-finals at Roland Garros. Borissov was allegedly present at the dinner. Karatancheva said she received a message from an unknown number the next day, which read: "What a lovely day isn't it? Just right for making love. I saw you in a beautiful dress yesterday."
"When I asked the person who he was, he replied that he was Boyko Borissov," Karatantcheva was quoted as saying. "He then sent another text, asking, 'How would you like to come to the hotel I am staying at?'"
Karatantcheva then showed the texts to her father, who became angry and went to Borissov to discuss the messages. Borissov allegedly told Karatantcheva's father that he "loved her like a daughter and would never do such things to her."
Borissov stopped texting Karatantcheva after the encounter with her father, the tennis player said. "Anything is possible in Bulgaria. Those with money and power will do anything, they render a man's ego incomprehensible," Karatantcheva reportedly said.