Mihai And Karen Barbat Refute Accounts, Take Action Against Elise Tamaela

Slightly surprising because of how readily Karen Barbat admitted that her father struck Elise Tamaela, Karen and her father, Mihai Barbat, are now coming out with their own versions of what happened that fateful Monday in Versmold, Germany.

On a blog that she writes at tennissporten.dk, Karen Barbat says that the interpretation of both her words and the media accounts of what happened are unfair.

Translated from Danish:

I can no more see how guilty people try to be innocent, or how the media writes stories up about how an insane psychopathic father beats a casual tennis player down. Nor how I more or less am either an accomplice or a victim - and how I have been misrepresented an opinion to Ekstra Bladet that I've said that my father hit a tennis player down, in my hope to hush the matter down and tell what really happened. I have said and thought he might have reacted unfortunate in self-defense and that it was the girl who had walked up to him and began to yell and beat up on him.

...

Most unfortunately, it went beyond me, and the supervisor had to disqualify me afterwards because of the rules. There were no police and no police search of the episode, which some people have invented. I talked with the group, which had contributed to conflict and the girl involved. Afterwards, father and I quietly left the club and went home the next day.

The main difference in Karen's account is that her father acted in self-defense. The Tamaelas never explicitly said that Elise's injuries were unprovoked, so this seems plausible enough. But still, no male (especially one as enormous as Mihai Barbat) should be entering into any sort of physical altercation with a woman, ever.

The police also had said they wished to speak to Mihai Barbat, so that did happen, whether or not Karen was aware of it.

Mihai Barbat also gave a differing account of what happened, to Denmark's TV2 on Wednesday night.

As reported by DR (translated from Danish):

"Tamaela was very aggressive and came over and wanted to fight. But I would not. Then she hit me in the face and so I defended myself by raising the elbows," explains Mihai Barbat.

"And it may well be that I hit her unfortunately. She fell, in any case, to the ground. I feel terrible. I will not hurt anyone and did not beat her so badly," says Mihai Barbat.

He refused to say that he said "black chick" at her, which the Dutchwoman told otherwise.

"You have misunderstood me. I yelled "bad chicken" at them. They have heard that 'black chicks.'"

"I'm not racist. Damn. I did not know that she was Dutch or where she comes from," says Mihai Barbat.

According to Mihai Barbat is Tamaela himself who would have trouble.

"She asked directly: 'Will you fight me?' I would not. But what's done is done, and I'm sorry," he says.

Three points:

  1. Yes, Mihai, it "may well be" that you hit her, because she was hospitalized with a concussion and facial swelling.
  2. No one yells "bad chicken" at anybody, unless perhaps judging an episode of Top Chef.
  3. Mihai didn't need to know that Elise Tamaela was Dutch to know that she had dark skin. No one's claiming he had a Nigel Powers-like anti-Dutch rant.

Predictably, the Barbats are turning the tables officially as well, filing a complaint against Elise Tamaela with the ITF.

Elise's brother, Sander Tamaela, tweeted (twice) about the complaint and posted on Tennis Forum about it was well:

This is getting weirder and weirder every day... Mihai Barbat is pressing charges against Elise via the ITF, Elise just received an official email... Really wondering what that man is thinking? Does he want to save his access to tournaments or does he really think (in his own head?) that he's the one being a victim? There are (literally) a dozen of witnesses who all have seen (and some even testified at the police station, incl. the referee) what happened. The hospital has given an official statement of Elise being injured. Even Karen has confessed to the press that her father hit Elise.

...

Just can't express how I feel right now...  This must be one of the strangest weeks in my life, let alone Elise's... It's an upside down world...

We'll keep you posted on whatever more developments may arise.

Stay tuned to SB Nation's tennis coverage at SBNation.com/tennis as well as on Twitter, @DailyForehand .

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