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Jimmy Connors dishes on relationship with Chris Evert in new memoir

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Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert broke off their engagement in 1974. (Brian Smith/AP)

Jimmy Connors’ autobiography, The Outsider, comes out in two weeks. Some details are beginning to leak, including an excerpt about his relationship with Chris Evert.

In the chapter on Connors’ high-profile romance, engagement and breakup with Evert, The New York Daily News reports that Connors “strongly hints” Evert was pregnant and had an abortion shortly before they were to wed, in 1974. Judge for yourself.

“An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion and a decision had to be made as a couple,” Connors writes in “The Outsider.”

Connor said he wanted to “let nature take its course” and accept responsibility “for what was to come.” But the then-19-year-old Evert, who was raised in a devout Roman Catholic home, made a different call.

“Chrissie … made up her mind that the timing was bad and too much was riding on her future,” wrote Connors.

Connors, who had been staying in a Los Angeles apartment with his pal, fellow short-fused legend Ilie Nastase, was perturbed that Evert decided the matter for the both of them.

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

But Connors, who was barely 22 at the time, had been harboring deep misgivings about getting married. And that phone call from Evert shook him badly.

Connors said he suggested to Evert they “take a step back and think about giving this a little more time.”

Evert was apparently thinking the same thing.

“O.K., if that’s what you think,” she replied coldly, Connors recounted. “I’ve got a match tomorrow. Not a problem.”

And that, Connors claims, “was it.”

The book is scheduled to be released on May 14. According to publisher HarperCollins, the topics he touches on include “setting the record straight about his formidable mother, Gloria; his very public romance with America’s sweetheart Chris Evert; his famous opponents, including Björn Borg, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Ivan Lendl, and Rod Laver; his irrepressible co-conspirators Ilie Nastase and Vitas Gerulaitis; and his young nemesis Andre Agassi. Connors reveals how his issues with obsessive-compulsive disorder, dyslexia, gambling, and women at various times threatened to derail his career and his long-lasting marriage to Playboy Playmate Patti McGuire.”

  • Published On May 02, 2013
  • 74 comments
    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    Never liked Conners, now I despise him. 

    “Since I don’t have any say in the matter, then I guess I’m just here to help.” 

    DAMN RIGHT you don't have a say! Not your body, not your life, and guess what? History proved Evert RIGHT! Even allowing for more competition in the mens game, she performed better than you, mr. Conners.


    jawebster2000
    jawebster2000

    All I can think of is the world is missing one helluva great tennis player.  Too bad!

    joeshine730
    joeshine730

    Jimmy Conner has a small weenie Evert moved on. No loss.

    Renfield
    Renfield

    Jimmy Connors is a cad and a bounder. I'm shocked.

    kakdu
    kakdu

    His body, mind, pen. End of story. If he wants to say or write anything, that's his concern.

     

    What we decide to say about what he says or not too is our concern.

     

    randedo
    randedo

    What a loser!!! I can't believe that Connors would out Chrissie to sell a book.,  You broke the cardinal rule of relationships...if you love someone you carry certain secrets to the grave.

    dianejholder2
    dianejholder2

    Her body, her choice end of story. 

     

    If he was the one carrying the child then it would have been his choice.  Women are not incubators for the children of men.  If he could not understand that in the end the choice should be hers and that she would be the one to bear most of the responsibility for the child, then I can understand why she thought "good riddens"  The fact that he still does not get it now that he is older is really bothersome.

    davidwg
    davidwg

    We all have decisions we regret but we still have to face up to them.  She had to have known this was going to come out someday.  Jimmy was a great player but he really did not have to tell this.  His book still would have sold.  I guess he needs the money.  Too bad.

    RB1
    RB1

    I don't have any respect for anyone who kisses and tells. pfffttt on Connors.

    yagoff
    yagoff

    If it was a man who had to give up his career (not to mention a million dollar+ type) and most importantly, doing what he loves, I don't think he'd hesitate for a second to abort a fetus. Chris Evert had a rare talent and got to use it to her fullest. That woman can take care of herself and has the focus to accomplish what she wants far beyond many many people not just men. Kudos to her. People talk a good game but rarely live it imo.

    SamJones
    SamJones

    For some reason I started reading the comments to this article -- something I rarely do. And, now I remember why.

    SJ
    SJ

    Chris Evert dumped her first two husbands, and also took the life of her own unborn child.  Shocking and sad.

     

    Not to defend Connors for releasing the information in this way, of course--it was very low.  But that doesn't change what Evert did.   

    tpwarren23
    tpwarren23

    Really Jimmy? Why put this out there. She would have been the one carrying the baby while you still played tennis looking like one of the ugliest things to step foot on planet earth. She was 19 and had a budding career. 

    joewillie1
    joewillie1

    Chrissy,  Your decision to abort should have been a mutual decision since you were engaged & were about to committ to each other.  You were as selfish back in the day as you are now!

    jeanwsmith54
    jeanwsmith54

    I never liked Jimmy Connors.  He was always a self-absorbed prick.

    harold.osborne11@yahoo.com
    harold.osborne11@yahoo.com

    Jimmy has always tooted his own horn. Now we know what probably caused the breakup. He wanted to take responsibility but she seen $ signs. She has had 3 marriages that did not work because she had an affair with the first. After 3 kids with the second, she divorced and had to pay 7 million to get out of it. At last she found someone who was richer than she was but Greg Norman had a ego to even surpass hers and it lasted only 18 months. Chrissy as she was called back in the day made her own bed and is now dealing with it. Jimmy on the other hand has also had some issues, but the bottom line for both is all about money

    ezwriter69
    ezwriter69

    You always were a hateful little beech, Jimmy, good to know you haven't changed. What a vindictive pointless thing to disclose, just to sell a book. Despicable little self-absorbed bleep.

    Psy Power
    Psy Power

    SI had a classic cover of the power couple back in the day -- but a memoir after so many years away from the pop culture/sports spotlight may make this a great read for those who actually remember watching the "Battle of the Sexes" on TV.

    poyman
    poyman

    I guess I am lost... Sounds to me like Everet made the call on the abortion without consulting the Father to be and it psst him off... It would me too. So he decided to back away from her and I think that based on what happened, it was the right thing to do...

     

    I'm not necessarily a big Connors fan, but I think he is right on this issue.

    555sexydrive
    555sexydrive

     @dianejholder2 OK Diane, so with that, if she decided to keep the child and he wanted no part, why is it not his choice to completely walk away?  Why do courts get involved and force men who do not want to be fathers to pay for a child they want nothing to do with?

     

    In this case, he wanted to be a father and she denied him that.  Unfortunately nature, doesn't allow the individual to decide if they get to carry the child or not, but hey woman's body, woman's choice right?

     

    That is such a weak viewpoint.  I only say that because if that is really it, then if a woman decides to keep a child and the man wants no part, then she should go on about her life with her choice.

    Joe75
    Joe75

     @dianejholder2 You've also forgotten the part about Chris Evert being a "devout" Roman Catholic. 

    Joe75
    Joe75

     @dianejholder2 When you're in a relationship, you make decisions as a couple. For goodness' sake, in a relationship, you don't decide to change the paint color of the living room wall without consulting with your partner. 

    poyman
    poyman

     @RB1

     And I am guessing most people don't have respect for you.... Telling the painful story of how he broke up with Chrissy and describing her classless decision is a little more about dealing with personal tragedy than it is "kissing and telling"... I can see I have another intellectually weak, morally bankrupt Everet advocate to deal with.... Just go away and leave the adults alone.

    Wise One
    Wise One

     @yagoff

     Chris Evert chose money and tennis over her child.  Some day that "devout Catholic" will have to answer for her choice that was diametrically opposed to her stated beliefs.  Kudos for Chis? Hardly.  Do you think that her money has given her as much joy as that son or daughter would have given her? Doubtful.

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @SJ Evert was FULLY JUSTIFIED for what she did or did not do, you unConstitutional nincompoop.

    Joe75
    Joe75

     @SJ Evert has always had a large ego, which was important to her tennis career.She not only dumped her first two husbands, she cheated on her first one with her second who was married at the time. 

    RB1
    RB1

     @SJ How do you know this REALLY happened and that he isn't just saying it to sell books?

     

    And even if it did, it's her choice. He wasn't the one who'd have to give up months, maybe years of a good career for a mistake they BOTH made.

    lisaann
    lisaann

     @SJ I totally agree with your comment. I think Jimmy should of warned Chrissy what was coming up in his book, so she wouldn't have been surprised.  I wonder what her strict Catholic parents think of this or did Chrissy let her parents know what she was planning to do? 

    lisaann
    lisaann

     @tpwarren23 I am surprised they didn't use birth control, were they just too young and immature knowing what could happen?

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @joewillie1 Good for her. He just couldn't stand her being better at tennis than him. Now, he's whining like a little boy, waaaaaahaaaaa you didn't let me make the decision. Not his body, not his career, not his decision. Man up. whiny wino.

    lisaann
    lisaann

     @joewillie1 They were both immature back then and just thinking of their careers.

    Joe75
    Joe75

     @ezwriter69 Why do you say it was a pointless thing to disclose? It seemed a critical event that cemented their break-up. 

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @poyman He's wrong, and if he left her because of this, he didn't really love her in the first place.

    RichardDay
    RichardDay

     @poyman I've always been a huge Jimmy Connors fan, and I agree that he did the right thing, poyman.

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @555sexydrive @dianejholder2 given the severe 2nd rate position women STILL have in all walks of life, having the man pay for his kids is fair. If he didn't want kids, he should have worn a condom. 

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @poyman @RB1 Classless decision? GOOD decision, and hers alone to make it. Jimbo is STILL so immature he wants revenge after 40 years? She really is better off without him, life would have been hell and he would have cheated on her, or left her for a younger woman in a heartbeat.

    Regardless what you think, abortion is NOT murder, a fetus is just a blob of dividing cells, and it's NOT a living person.

    The Hypocrisy of anti-abortion activists stinks to high heaven seeing as how they all support the death penalty and poisoning our rivers, lakes and air.

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @Wise One @yagoff It wasn't a child. It was a fetus. Constitution says it's LEGAL and Constitutional, why don't you uphold the Constitution?

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @Joe75 @SJ Ha ha, and you voted to keep all these adulterers in office, or, supported their policies and their party:

    David Vitter, Gingrich, McCain, Ensign, Sanford, Larry Craig, Guiliani. 

    You're a hypocrite. Like all reichwingers.

    Jimbo married a nude model, showing off her hooha on a nation wide basis. Again, you're a hypocrite.

    SJ
    SJ

     @RB1 Evert's not denying it, is she? 

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @lisaann @tpwarren23 Dude, condoms were totally against American Family Values. Still are.

    And, didn't you know that condoms FORCE you to have sex?


    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @Joe75 @ezwriter69 It was a very private matter. That's the lowest, most despicable act he could do: selling that for money. That's really low. If he needed the money, he's a lousy businessman too.

    lisaann
    lisaann

     @badgernation74  @poyman I think he should of warned Chrissy what he was going to write about, it was wrong for him to put her in this position, but selling books is what he wants.  I was a big Chris/Jimmy fan way back then and I am still going to buy his book. Hopefully one day, Chris will write a book and get back at Jimmy!!!

    poyman
    poyman

     @badgernation74

     He's being paid to write a book about his life for crying out loud (the good and the bad)... Sounds to me like this was a fairly big issue along his path... Are you suggesting that he not cover it? Give me a break...

    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @poyman @RB1 @lisaann @badgernation74 it's only people on the right, racists like you who want michael vick to be executed.

    And now you've revealed yourself as a ReichWing extremist who thinks that  Pinochet was just a man doing his job, right? Videla? Stand up guy, innit?


    TheSteelGeneral
    TheSteelGeneral

    @poyman @lisaann @badgernation74This is all just men whining about being rendered irrelevant.It wasn't his decision to make. Some men badger their wife or GF into being a mother when they don't want to. We call these men a-- wholes.

    poyman
    poyman

     @RB1  @lisaann  @badgernation74

     No she didn't... It was his child too... But I am guessing that Objectivity is not your long suit... In fact, I am guessing you're a far left whacko who thinks that Michael Vick should be executed but Chrissy Everet should be awarded... You and people like you are what is wrong with this country.

    RB1
    RB1

     @poyman  @bobturwilliger376  @lisaann  @badgernation74 - "...Connor's quotes seem to leave him out of the loop on the decision making process concerning the abortion" That's not what I got. What I got was that they both made decisions, different ones, and it's her body and her choice.

    RB1
    RB1

     @poyman  @lisaann  @badgernation74 - She consulted him, she just made a decision different from the one he wanted her to make, and she had that right.

    poyman
    poyman

     @bobturwilliger376  @poyman  @lisaann  @badgernation74

     I guess you are right, I am making the interpretation based on the article... And, according to the article , the Connor's quotes seem to leave him out of the loop on the decision making process concerning the abortion and that is why he left the relationship... If that is an accurate interpretation then I stand by my position on the matter... If it is an incorrect interpretation (and based on what is written, I can't see how it could be) then perhaps I would have  to back off.

    bobturwilliger376
    bobturwilliger376

     @poyman  @lisaann  @badgernation74 Where are you getting this? It's not like she called him up and said hi Jimmy I had an abortion, just thought you should know. It's not even clear from that excerpt that she even just called him up to tell him like it is, that she's getting an abortion and deal with it.  What it sounds like is  they did have a conversation, and she didn't find Jimmy's let's just let nature take its course terribly convincing and decided to go her own way. Maybe it's clearer in the book, but there's a lot of ambiguity about the timing and what they actually said to each other, it's all just his interpretation of the situation.  Maybe the book has more context, but I kinda feel like the ambiguity and omissions are there because it kind of slants it to making connors sound like a victim and absolving him of responsibility and blame. 

    poyman
    poyman

     @lisaann  @badgernation74

     Thanks for your comment Lisa... But if you are saying that Connors failure to run the situation through Everet is equal to the sin of Everet not consulting Connors before she decided to terminate the life of their child (to be) I can't agree... In fact, the two omissions are not even in the same ball park...

     

    As for her writing a book about her Life and giving her side of the Abortion issue... I would welcome it and be one of the first to the book stores to get it.

     

    Joe75
    Joe75

     @ezwriter69  Why do you think Connors is the jerk, and have no words for Evert? She was the "devout" Roman Catholic who aborted her child without thought of her fiance. She wanted to preserve her career and her squeaky clean image. What do you call people like that?

    poyman
    poyman

     @RB1  @badgernation74

    Kissing and telling"??? Having an Abortion is kissing and telling? Having an Abortion and telling the "would be father" after  the fact is your idea of kissing and telling... Grow up.

    RB1
    RB1

     @poyman  @badgernation74 - It's not a pity party for Chrissie. It's a disgust party for Connors. There IS a difference!!! Gentlemen don't kiss and tell.

    RB1
    RB1

     @poyman  @badgernation74 - He's kissing and telling. That's not only characterless, it's classless, and it's a chapter he could have just left unsaid.

    poyman
    poyman

     @ezwriter69  @poyman  @badgernation74

     Why yes I am 9 and it appears that at that young age I am much more mature than you...

     

    Perhaps you can share with us why you and your buddies always hide behind  charges of Racism and Chauvinism when you are incapable of defending your position on an issue... Why is it that your thinking is so narrow and your mind so ill-prepared to deal with a debate on such a topic as this??? Your charges are boring and non-factual and certainly not persuasive  to the objective reader...

     

    As I have said earlier, I am not necessarily a fan of Connors... I think he was one of the great Tennis Players of our time, but he also character flaws (similar to yours)... On this issue however, he was perfectly within his right to talk about the abortion and how it was painful to him in his own way... Neither you nor I can measure that pain... But the fact that he was not consulted by Everett was absolutely wrong with a capital "W"...

     

    I don't know if you're the same person as badgernation74 or just a weak advocate for that position, but either way, grow up and deal with the facts as opposed to throwing out meaningless charges against those who differ with your opinion... I know that that has got to be a tough task for someone of your mindset, but try anyway.

    ezwriter69
    ezwriter69

     @poyman  @badgernation74 Only a gutless little self-absorbed jerk would disclose something that personal to sell a book. Only an insensitive misogynist would defend it. What are you, 9?

    poyman
    poyman

     @badgernation74  @poyman

     What are you, 10? Chris Everet was not the only one involved in the Abortion decision despite the fact that she apparently excluded Connors... I am certain that it was just as deep of an issue for him as it was for her and it probably left some emotional scars... So please, stop the pitty party for Chrissy...

     

    The main point here however, is that the man agreed to write his life story... When you write something like that you talk about what went on in your life... Particularly the things that helped shape who you are... You don't leave out part of the story, to protect somebody's feelings from a 40 year old relationship, you tell it and you tell it in a mature and honest way.

     

    I am certain that if Everet was upset by it, we would have heard. After 40 years I am sure all parties consider it all water that has long since passed under the bridge.

    badgernation74
    badgernation74

     @poyman

    I hope you're consistent in that attitude if an old friend or lover decides to reveal something deeply personal they know about you... because it was a big issue along their path. There is some basic trust in relationships that not everything is meant to be shared with others. He did it for money, not to tell his story.