Dr Ruth Westheimer reveals what made Bill Clinton blush during Serena Williams US Open match

‘What a country we have that a little person, four foot seven, 94 years old, can sit next to the former president of these United States,’ legendary sex therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer tells The Independent

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 30 August 2022 20:32 BST
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Bill Clinton chats to Dr Ruth at US Open

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Dr Ruth Westheimer says a good sex therapist never discusses their private conversations.

“That’s private, put it down that I told you private!” she tells The Independent, the day after stealing the show during Serena Williams’ first-round victory at the US Open for her intimate courtside chat with former president Bill Clinton.

Dr Westheimer, 94, appeared to make Mr Clinton blush as they spoke into one another’s ears over the crowd noise during Monday’s opening night action at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

Footage of the conversation was picked up by broadcaster ESPN and quickly went viral on social media.

“Who knows what they’re talking about?” John McEnroe said from the commentary box.

Dr Westheimer opened up about the heart-to-heart when reached by phone at her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday, saying she had told Mr Clinton how impressed she was by Chelsea Clinton after seeing her deliver a speech at a Clinton Foundation event several years ago.

“I told the president that his daughter gave a very good talk, and he was very happy,” she said.

They also discussed Chelsea’s marathon running exploits and how Mr Clinton had to get home early because Hillary was leaving early on Tuesday morning on an overseas trip.

Dr Westheimer, America’s most celebrated sex therapist, told The Independent  that she was thrilled by the chance encounter with the president, and had been lapping up the media spotlight.

Former President Bill Clinton and Dr Ruth Westheimer caused a stir at the US Open on Monday night
Former President Bill Clinton and Dr Ruth Westheimer caused a stir at the US Open on Monday night (ESPN / Screengrab)
Dr Ruth Westheimer at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019
Dr Ruth Westheimer at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019 (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

“I have been going to the US Open for many years, and I was very happy that I could make it,” she said.

“It was an exciting match and it was exciting to have the president sit right next to me. I know that I got a lot of coverage!”

Dr Westheimer was born in Germany in 1928, and after losing both her parents in the Holocaust moved to the US aged 28, eventually publishing dozens of books and becoming a household name thanks to her popular TV series The Dr Ruth Show.

A massive tennis fan, she told The Independent she was invited to the US Open each year to sit in the private box of South African-born property developer Eddie Trump (no relation to Donald Trump).

“No comment, exclamation mark,” she says when asked for her thoughts on the other former president.

She snacked on chocolate and tomatoes from the box’s buffet during the evening while doing a bit of celebrity spotting of her own.

Actors Hugh Jackman and Rebel Wilson, Spike Lee, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, boxer Mike Tyson and Olympian Lindsey Vonn were also in attendance.

“It was an exciting evening, I was very fortunate. I was a very happy camper,” she said.

Dr Westheimer says she was never much of a tennis player herself, but did once take part in an exhibition match against the great Arthur Ashe to promote the expansion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows in the 1990s.

“I put on a tennis outfit, but I’m not a good player. Once the ball comes over the net I jump up and down.” She had a couple of hits before leaving it over to the pros, she says.

She’s unsure if she’ll make it back to see Williams play again in what is likely to be her final tournament, but says she’ll be dining out on this story for a while yet.

“Who would have thought that an immigrant from Nazi Germany, coming to the United States, would be sitting for the whole hour next to the former president of the United States,” she says.

“For an orphan of the Holocaust to get such attention, it’s wonderful. What a country we live in. Put that down.

“What a country we have that a little person, four foot seven, 94 years old, can sit next to the former president of these United States.”

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