Bill Tilden Trials: 1947 & 1949
Out Of The Closet
Gradually, his fabulous stamina began to ebb. Opponents with less skill could wear him out. Tennis fans eventually said he was "still the best player in the world for one set." As his game faded, his homosexuality came to the fore. He began to solicit boys—but never his proteges—he met on tours. At first he kept his sexual activities tightly in the closet. He cut off contact with his nephew and namesake because the younger man learned of his sexual orientation.
But as he got older and his game fell off, Tilden's homosexuality became more overt. Colleagues recognized it. As his reputation grew, clubs began to bar Tilden. Other players shunned him. He moved to California, where he still had friends among the movie elite. Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, and other stars flocked around him.
- Bill Tilden Trials: 1947 1949 - Tilden Arrested
- Bill Tilden Trials: 1947 1949 - An Unlikely Champion
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