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Thorpe Sets the Record Straight on Gay Rumors -- November 16, 2002

SYDNEY, November 17. AUSSIE superstar Ian Thorpe
has broken his silence on the persistent questions about his sexuality as well as a disturbing encounter with two obsessed fans, according to a story in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald by Rachel Browne.

According to Browne: "The swimming champion told interviewer Monica Attard of ABC Radio's Sunday Profile that he was straight but found the gay rumors flattering.

"'It is the most flattering thing that anyone can ever say because if someone wants to label you or claim you as part of a minority group, it means you must have some strength in your character or in what you do,'" he said.

Attard said she admired Thorpe's level-headed approach to fame and the scrutiny which goes hand-in-hand with being a high profile figure.

"'Obviously fame and fortune have their hazards, one of which is becoming the subject of unfounded rumors,'" Attard said.

"As a young, good-looking, well-spoken man with an interest in fashion, Ian has had to deal with rumours about his sexuality and he was very upfront and frank when discussing it. He said, 'People will say what they like and the rumour mill will churn over and that just goes with the territory."'

"Last month, the Olympic champion was forced to seek a personal apprehended violence order against Taylor Martin, 27, and Vernon Ray Hopkins, 32, in Sutherland Local Court.

"'He was deeply disturbed by the actions of the over-zealous fans,'" Attard said. "'Their behavior shook him to the core.'"

Thorpe's interview will be broadcast in Australia on Sunday evening on 702 ABC Sydney and ABC local radio at 6:30 pm.