Don Budge Suggested Seles Stabbing Was An Inside Job

Don Budge, the all time great tennis champion, made a startling statement in the March 24, 1994 edition of TENNIS WEEK magazine.

When asked by the publication “why has it taken Monica Seles so long to come back” from her stabbing attack by German nut Gunter Parche at the Hamburg Open tournament in April 1993, Budge replied: “I really don’t know what the problem is. Fred Perry said he knew a doctor who said she could have played two or three weeks after the incident…”

Then Budge dropped a bombshell: “There’s some hidden thing involved here, almost like that Nancy Kerrigan incident (where Kerrigan was attacked and assaulted in January 1994 at a Detroit skating competition and had her knee busted with a baton by a thug hired by her rival Tonya Harding’s former husband and bodyguard). I hate to think athletes are getting to the point where there’s some skullduggery going on. It’s possible, I suppose, but I like to think they’re all decent people. As far as the injury is concerned, they say the blade only went in 3/4 of an inch or one inch and unless it’s something with the heart or something you can’t foresee, the body has a tendency to heal.”

The quote that really jumps out is: “THERE’S SOME HIDDEN THING INVOLVED HERE, almost like the Nancy Kerrigan incident.”

How Mr. Budge could be so sure and authoritative with his words that there was a hidden element to the Seles stabbing is intriguing. It suggests a possible conspiracy theory, to dethrone Seles, who was a dominant force in the WTA and the reigning world no. 1. Seles’ rise was not good for the German tennis industry, TV ratings, ticket sales, tournament sponsorship, etc. With Seles out of the picture and Graf back on top – which is conveniently what happened when Seles sat out for two years – guess who profited the most? German tennis and all sponsors associated with Steffi.

It’s a stretch for sure to consider such a sinister scheme could have happened, but Budge revealed to us, “there’s some hidden thing involved here, almost like that Nancy Kerrigan incident.”

The motive was certainly there. The Seles stabbing did happen on German soil, executed by a German citizen (Parche) who served no jail time for the assault (or attempted murder). Parche was a curious individual. He was a 39 year old lathe operator who lived alone. He was a fanatical Graf fan, who it was reported, sent his heroine love letters, gifts and money.

Is it possible Parche could have been hired as a patsy to commit this stabbing assault and then later was protected by the German legal system which refused to jail Parche for even a single night?

“There’s some hidden thing involved here,” revealed Don Budge in 1994. It sounded like Budge KNEW something was up and he had the guts to drop a bombshell.

In this day and age it’s impossible to rule out anything. Hoaxes, inside jobs do happen. Sport is ruled by money and we know conspiracies do happen at the highest level of sport. Especially when you follow the money and legal decisions which all favored the insane scheme of the homicidal maniac. The Seles stabbing was the best thing that ever happened in Graf’s career. She won the next three majors in 1993 and eleven more overall. Graf had only won one major in each of 1990, 1991 and 1992.

The whole scandal still as a horrid odor to it. How the hell was a maniac able to get away with a public stabbing of a major superstar in a public sports arena? Was Parche just a hired patsy in an elaborate conspiracy to remove a dominant world champion from power, later protected from all legal consequences?

I don’t know. But anything is possible.

“When money talks the truth stays silent.” – Russian proverb

Today Parche lives in a nursing home in Germany. Graf lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Seles in Florida.

Facing Steffi Graf/Serena Williams Double book is available at for $9.99.

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  • catherine · August 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Your book’s a good read Scoop but this is just conspiracy stuff. No evidence at all.

    Security wasn’t as tight as it is now. You can’t get near players by the court. You could then. Parche was just an unstable fan who thought attacking Seles was a good idea.

    Why would Don Budge know anything about it ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 6, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Budge was an insider with possible inside info, and the courage to speak his mind and stick up for great champion and justice. Budge’s quotes are stunning. But not proof. There is also no proof that the Duran vs Leonard No Mas rematch of 1980 was fixed but i got verbal confirmation from two separate Duran friends in 1988 and 2018 that it was fixed. Along with other inside information such as the payoff was $15m.

  • Sam · August 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    “Budge replied: ‘I really don’t know what the problem is. Fred Perry said he knew a doctor who said she could have played two or three weeks after the incident…'”

    I don’t think Budge has a very good understanding of the human psyche. It wasn’t the actual physical injury that was so devastating to Seles–apparently it was the *emotional/psychological* trauma of what happened that really took a toll on her.

    “a Detroit skating competition and had her knee busted with a baton by a thug hired be her former husband and bodyguard).”

    Can Budge not even get his story straight? The thug was hired by Kerrigan’s *opponent’s* former husband and bodyguard. 😉

    When I read “inside job” in the title of this article, I thought you meant that Seles somehow wanted out of tennis, so she purposely orchestrated this plan herself. 🙂

    Anyway, do I think it’s possible that Parche was hired as part of a scheme? Certainly. In the past year, I’ve learned enough about corruption in tennis and the sporting world to believe that almost anything is possible. Yes, this whole idea about the Seles stabbing actually sounds quite plausible.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Sam, you are right I got confused and left out it was Tonya Harding’s ex husband Jeff Gilloolly but I fixed it. Budge didn’t make any error, it was my error. The part that bugs me is how curiously silent Graf was about Parche and also German government. There was no apparent sympathy or sorriness for Seles. Major figures in Germany including Graf hould have vilified and condemned Parche’s actions but their silence almost interprets approval and complicitness.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Scoop – no, I don’t believe any of that about Graf being involved in anything to do with Seles’ stabbing. It’s libellous to suggest it. We discussed this whole subject some time ago. There was no reason for the German government to be involved and there may well have been legal reasons why neither Steffi nor her family made any comment at the time. I don’t know German law. I do know Steffi visited Seles in hospital afterwards.

    Steffi has never been a person who ever talked a lot about any aspect of her personal life and I can’t see any reason for her to have spoken publicly about Parche. She probably wanted to put the whole incident behind her. There was nothing she could do and she had no responsibility for the attack.

    If there had been any conspiracy believe me it would have come out by now – unstable individuals like Parche aren’t good at keeping secrets. He is still alive and could have talked long ago. And to be honest, a couple of girls playing tennis ? Enough motive to inflame a demented fan but not enough to arrange an orchestrated plot (involving the German government) to disable or kill one of them. That’s nonsense.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    I’ll let silence be my answer here. No need to fuel a conspiracy theory. Sometimes one man’s obsessions change a sport, for better or worse. Some people are psychos.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Catherine, I doubt Graf had any role. But its hard not to suspect if Parche’s love letters to Graf made him into the perfect patsy to do what he did. We live in an era of deception and fake news where it’s healthy to question everything. How it all worked out so perfectly for Graf and German tennis is disconcerting. Even the player chairs in Hamburg were arranged so close to the fence that fans could literally reach over and touch the players on changeovers. It’s possible the tournament was in on it. Anything is possible. The whole thing stinks to me and how it all worked out so perfectly for Graf and the Germans and even Parche who never spent a day in jail. It’s the worst injustice in sports history IMO. As a Seles fan it still bothers me immensely how she got cheated and her life devastated. And the way Graf handled it publicly also has never seemed right. A true champion would have vilified and condemned Parche and this atrocity but Graf never did that.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Scoop – please understand you can’t behave in the way you want Steffi to have done. It would have been highly inappropriate for her to have ‘vilified and condemned’ Parche. And he didn’t go to jail presumably because he was considered mentally ill.

    Security at tournaments was not as tight as it is now. To suppose that the tournament was ‘in on it’ would have made the organizers accessories to a serious crime and that’s an outlandish idea. I see nothing will budge you from your belief in a conspiracy so I’ll say no more.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    The chairs at the edge of the fence? Wonder if the tournament did that in the past or just for this one year? These are questions that need to be asked and investigated. If it was a random psycho attack, okay, we move on. But based on Budge’s quote, suspicions remain and who knows, Seles could still get justice. I find it alarming that Seles was so afraid for her own safety that she refused to show up in person for her court appearances and sent a letter instead. IMagine being that fearful of going to Germany? Did she fear another attack on her life?

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Do you read German Scoop ? You could look up the German press and see what was said about it at the time and possibly any follow up. What justice can Seles get now ? She’s long retired as far as I know. Instead of posting on T-P you should contact the relevant people in Germany and start doing some research. That’s how the truth gets out.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Don Budge’s veiled accusations are a start. I just might Catherine. But no one, if there is any fire to this smoke, will confess to anything. I will poke around a little on this.

  • Jeff · August 12, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    This makes you wonder. Perhaps Budge was in on the plot to help Steffi. He wouldn’t say something like this unless he knew so it stands to reason that Budge himself may have been part of the plan to injure Seles.

    Does anyone know if Budge had connections to the mob?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 12, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Jeff, more so I think it was Budge was an insider and he heard the inside whispers that were kept from the media and public consumption. Budge was highly upset that it was very possible the Germans conspired to take out Seles and he expressed it as delicately as possible. Reading between the lines you know exactly what Budge was saying. Looking back on the whole fiasco and how it played out and who benefited, I still believe it’s very very possible a conspiracy operation was successfully performed an covered up.

  • Jeff · August 14, 2019 at 1:07 am

    It is interesting because Budge was in the military and knows a lot about government secrets. He probably knew about German intelligence agencies and could have heard of any such plots.

    It could also be why he was so insistent on Seles returning to make it seemed like he didn’t want her out of the picture when in reality he did. That’s a classic sign that Budge may be in on this.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Jeff, gonna be tough to prove or confirm your budge theories ☺



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