Ex-Premier League star accused of stalking tennis pro
The sister of tennis legend Kim Clijsters has accused her football star ex-husband of stalking and harassing her for three years.
Elke Clijsters, who also played tennis professionally, claims former English Premier League defender Jelle van Damme has been visiting her home at night and sending abusive messages.
Clijsters, 33, married Van Damme, 35, in 2008, but the pair split in 2014 before their divorce in 2016.
The mother-of-two, who was a regular face in Australia while her older sister was dating Lleyton Hewitt, opened up on social media about her ex.
"I've had to cope with a stalker for almost three years," she wrote on Instagram. "I thought about deleting my profile, but felt that he would have won had I done so.
"He created anonymous profiles, sent me messages, lied about me and told other people what a terrible person I am.
"He would sit in his car outside my house at night to see what I was up to, and who I brought home.
"He'd sneak into my back garden to peer through my bedroom window, and would ask my friends about me.
"He sent me messages saying my late father would be ashamed if he could see me, and a whole lot more.
"This has had a great emotional impact on me. I kept quiet for a long time and tried to cope with it.
"I was sad and frightened, but angry as well. I asked myself what had I done wrong."
The Sun reports Clijsters has made a formal complaint against Van Damme. Prosecutors in Hasselt, eastern Belgium, confirmed the legal action against the footballer, but refused to give more detail - insisting it is "a delicate matter that concerns private lives."
During her junior tennis career, Clijsters briefly dated Australian player Todd Reid, who tragically died at the age of 34 last month.
She wrote about her former beau in the wake of his death. "He was my boyfriend for a little while when we were playing juniors," Clijsters wrote. "It was this innocent, young and pure love and I will remember him being so talented, so funny and loving. He always always always made me smile. My condolences to his friends and family."
Van Damme is now playing for Royal Antwerp in the Belgian First Division following his switch from LA Galaxy last year.
The 31-cap Belgium international played for Southampton in the EPL in the 2004-05 season and for Wolves in the 2010-11 campaign.
He has also played for Standard Liege, Anderlecht, Ajax, Germinal Beerschot and for Werder Bremen on loan.
- with The Sun