Women’s golf star Michelle Wie West has accused Rudy Giuliani of “objectifying” her after the former New York mayor claimed the golfer’s putting style left people desperate to ogle her “panties.”
Recently appearing on Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room’ podcast, lawyer Giuliani recounted a tale about a charity pro-am golf event he had played at in Florida seven years ago alongside late radio broadcast icon Rush Limbaugh.
Asking Bannon’s permission to tell a “funny story”, Giuliani went on to recall how he and Limbaugh had been pursued by the paparazzi around the course, with Limbaugh mistakenly believing that they were hounding Giuliani.
Giuliani then explained that the press pack were actually pursuing golfer Wie, supposedly to get a glimpse of her “panties” while she was putting.
“She has a strange putting stance, she bends all the way over and her panties show,” Giuliani said,
“The press was going crazy… because they were trying to take pictures of her panties.
“I said, Roger [sic], it’s not me, it’s not you, it’s her panties!” Giuliani chuckled to himself.
Definitely not the point, but keep wondering why Rudy called this a joke. What is the punchline? pic.twitter.com/VNKgoq92KS
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) February 19, 2021
Giuliani seemed to gauge by Bannon’s straight-faced reaction that the gag had not gone down well, asking awkwardly, “is that OK to tell that joke, I’m not sure?”
“Well you already told it, so…” replied Bannon.
After the clip circulated online, Twitter users soon pounced on Giuliani.
“So the story is first they’re driving and then it’s Wei’s ‘panties.’ That’s not even a story. By the way, female golfers often wear ‘skorts.’ Those aren’t panties,” one person wrote.
“Can we pass a law that Giuliani is never allowed to say the word ‘panties’ again?” read another comment.
So the story is first they’re driving and then it’s Wei’s ‘panties.’ That’s not even a story. By the way, female golfers often wear ‘skorts.’ Those aren’t panties.
— Kathrine Jahn ❤️🇺🇸 (@KathrineJahn) February 19, 2021
The story soon came to the attention of Wie herself, who responded in a post on social media without mentioning Giuliani by name.
“What this person should have remembered from that day was the fact that I shot 64 and beat every male golfer in the field leading our team to victory,” wrote the 31-year-old star.
“I shudder thinking that he was smiling to my face and complimenting me on my game while objectifying me and referencing my ‘panties’ behind my back all day.”
— Michelle Wie (@MichelleWieWest) February 20, 2021
“What should be discussed is the elite skill level of female professionals rather than what they wear or their appearance.
“My putting stance six years ago was designed to improve my putting stats (I ended up winning the US Open that year). NOT as an invitation to look up my skirt!” Wie added.
“Nike makes skirts with shorts built in underneath for this exact reason… so that women can feel CONFIDENT and COMFORTABLE playing a game that we love.”
One of the most recognizable names in women’s golf, Wie was a child sensation before turning professional in 2005.
She won her first Major at the US Women’s Open in 2014, and is a five-time title winner on the LGPA Tour.
Wie is currently on maternity leave, having give birth to a daughter last June. She is married to Jonnie West, son of NBA legend Jerry West.