James quits figure skating
Bermudian figure skater Vanessa James has retired from the sport amid allegations that her pairs partner Morgan Ciprès sent lewd photographs to an underage girl on Instagram.
James and Ciprès, who has also quit figure skating, were expected to challenge for a medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, in 2022.
They paired started skating together during the 2009-2010 season and won five French national titles, a bronze medal at the European Championships and came fifth at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.
Ciprès is under two separate investigations by The United Centre of SafeSport and Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Florida for allegedly direct-messaging two photographs of his genitalia on Instagram to a 13-year-old American female figure skater, who practised at a rink in Wesley Chapel, Florida, where he was training in 2017.
Cipres, 29, told USA Today last year that he has “nothing to say about this allegation.”
At the time of the original investigation it is alleged that figure skating coach Vinny Dispenza told the victim and another underage girl to request the images from Ciprès in exchange for the promise of a pizza.
It is also alleged that Ciprès's coaches, John Zimmerman, a 2002 Olympian and member of the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and Silvia Fontana, a 2002 and 2006 Olympian representing Italy, intervened in an attempt to prevent the girl's family from coming forward, as Ciprès, who then was 26, was preparing with James for the Winter Olympics in 2018.
Andrea Lewis, an attorney for the skater and her family, told USA Today in June: “Not only was she harmed by the perpetrator, but also by other adults that she trusted who attempted to cover up his misconduct and intimidate her into being silent.
“She is extremely grateful for the words of support from survivors and other people all around the world. Those voices have given her the courage to speak up and do what is necessary to make sure that this never happens again.”
James, whose father Kevin is Bermudian, was born in Ontario, Canada but lived in Bermuda until the age of ten when her family moved to Virginia.
During her time on the island she attended Mount St Agnes. Her twin sister Melissa is also a figure skater.