Buck's widow denies sex abuse
THE wife of Tweed swimming coach Terry Buck has spoken out, saying the sexual abuse allegations against her late husband are all lies.
“They are not true. I can be sure in the comfort of knowing the person, my husband, Terry for the last 40 years,” Laraine Buck said in a television interview last night.
Former Olympic swimmer Greg Rogers went public earlier this week, saying he and his brother were abused as youngsters by Mr Buck, who died in 2005 in a tractor accident.
However, famed swimmers under Mr Buck’s tutelage and friends rubbished the claims, saying they never witnessed any such behaviour and that Mr Buck was not capable of sexual abuse.
“I know, like we are, they are so angry with what has been splashed across the media this week,” Mrs Buck said.
“The lies that have been spread about Terry.
“And we as a family have been comforted by the extraordinary support from everyday people to Olympic gold medallists.
“People know we are hurting and they can share our hurt but this is not going to beat us.”
Mrs Buck, supported by her daughters Elise and Megan and her brother Mick, said she has drawn strength from her husband’s extraordinary character.
“He was not only a swimming coach and a surf coach, but a life coach, who mentored so many people, including Greg Rogers.
“(Rogers) came in and out of our lives for 40 years at his own instigation.
“There was a time when Terry actually coached Greg in between the Mexico and Munich Olympics and he was the godfather of our late daughter Sarah.”
Mrs Buck said she feels sorry for the youth who looked up to Mr Buck, as they must be confused.
“My message to them is you were right, stay with your gut because you met one hell of a man,” she said, close to tears.
“Accusations such as this have such a damning effect so widespread in the community that we really need to seriously look.
“I feel we need to look at the far-reaching consequences and for the sake of the industry of which Terry was so passionate about and for the good that’s done in swimming and surf life saving this is really something that should be looked at a lawful level for future – for the future well-being of our youth.”
Mr Buck dealt with these allegations appropriately when he was alive, Mrs Buck said.
“Terry instigated a police investigation of which there was no charge to answer,” she said.
“A civil court action proceeded in 2003 which was ruled in Terry’s favour, at no time was Terry prepared to succumb to the demands to cover up and at no time did Terry have any interest other than to clear his name from these damaging rumours.
“My husband Terry and I trusted Greg, he was still involved with us in business dealings as late as 2002.”
In a separate television interview Mr Rogers denied reports that a civil case was settled out of court in Buck’s favour.
Mrs Buck said she is thankful her husband is not alive to experience these claims.
“I feel so blessed, which is probably a funny thing to say because we miss him everyday, but I am so thankful that he is not because of the life he’s led and the good he has done.
“This would not serve anyone so I’m just thankful that he is not here.”
Mr Buck was passionate about swimming and life, Mrs Buck said.
“He had an amazing zest for life; a zest that was infectious; something I wish I could bottle.
“Wherever he went there was an instant crowd.”