Skip to main site content.
Women's singles tennis (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Tough love?

Teenage daughters allegedly abused by father obsessed with making them tennis stars

March 9, 2017

A man from Ilford, Essex, is on trial at the Snaresbrook Crown Court in London for the systematic abuse and psychological humiliation of his two young daughters over a period of more than a decade. In what has been described as a relentless pursuit to make his children into what the court described as “rich, famous Wimbledon champions,” John De’Viana, the father in question, is accused of inflicting both verbal and physical abuse upon his two daughters, Nephe and Monaei.

The young women, now 19 and 21 years old, respectively, have alleged that their father removed them from school at the age of 11 in order to double down on their training. Prosecutors explain that their daily regimens consisted of grueling practice sessions that began often before 5:30 a.m. and finished just before bedtime. As their self-appointed coach, Mr. De’Viana’s behavior is described as having completely abandoned any parental concern for his daughter’s emotional and physical well-being. The women have explained to the court how their father imposed severe punishments, such as withholding meals and addressing them with derogatory and profane language, on the occasions he considered their performance to be sub-par. The violence and vitriolic name-calling was said to increase dramatically when he believed they had competed poorly in tournaments.

Prosecuting attorney David Povall addressed the court, saying, “It is the Crown’s case that, over a period of years, he made the lives of his two daughters miserable in a variety of different ways, but primarily around his ambition that they should be rich, famous and successful tennis players.” While the trial is still ongoing, Mr. De’Viana has denied the charges of two counts of cruelty to a person under the age of 16.

Despite success on the court, both of the young women have completely given up playing tennis.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.


Angry Baltimore mother seen on video slapping her rioting son, declared ‘Mom of the Year’ on social media