Michelle Wie West Responds to Rudy Giuliani's Objectifying 'Paparazzi' CommentsFebruary 20, 2021
LPGA Tour golfer Michelle Wie West posted a statement on Twitter on Friday night in response to the objectifying story told by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on a podcast Thursday.
Beth Ann Nichols of Golfweek reported Giuliani said on the War Room podcast with Republican political strategist Steve Bannon he played a round of golf with Wie West and Rush Limbaugh, who died Wednesday, in 2014 and noted the paparazzi were "driving us crazy." He then suggested it was because Wie West "bends all the way over and her panties show" when she putts.
As of Saturday morning, Giuliani hadn't publicly apologized for the story, which he referred to as a "joke."
Wie West is a five-time winner on the LPGA Tour, highlighted by capturing the 2014 U.S. Women's Open for her only major title to date. Her most recent triumph came in the HSBC Women's World Championship in March 2018.
She's been on maternity leave since January 2020 and gave birth to her first child, daughter Makenna West, in June. She's married to Golden State Warriors director of basketball operations Jonnie West.
In May, the 31-year-old Hawaii native told ESPN's Charlotte Gibson she originally planned to step away from competing after starting a family, but that outlook has since been altered.
"Before I was even pregnant, I thought my career would come to an end when I had kids, and I was fine with that," she said. "Then I found out I was having a girl, and my perspective changed. ... Now, I definitely want to play for her. I want to create a future for her while she sees me being a strong woman and an athlete and being someone that is pursuing her dreams."
The 2021 LPGA schedule kicked off Jan. 21 and is scheduled to run through Nov. 21. The standard five majors are on the slate—one in April, two in June, one in July and one in August—and the Olympic golf tournament is also tentatively set for August in Tokyo.
Wie West, who's worked on CBS Sports' golf coverage during her leave, hasn't provided a timetable for her competitive return.