Stab Magazine | Layne Beachley Opens Up About Adoption And The Rape Of Her Biological Mother

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'

2032 Views

Layne Beachley Opens Up About Adoption And The Rape Of Her Biological Mother

An immense show of bravery and resilience from one of the greatest female surfers of our time.

news // Oct 5, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In an incredible show of strength and bravery, seven-time women’s world champ, Layne Beachley has poured her heart out about the ‘date-rape’ scenario that led to her being conceived and later put up for adoption.

Speaking to the Herald Sun in Australia, Layne told of the trauma of being eight years old and finding out from her non-biological father that she was adopted at birth.

“When Dad told me, I felt so abandoned,” she told the Herald Sun. “I felt so worthless. I thought if my own mother doesn’t want me, who the fuck does? I thought I was so undeserving, and created a victimised mentality based on these thoughts and belief.”

Layne’s biological mother, who was an aspiring model, was raped as a 17-year-old after going on date with the manager of a modelling agency. Beachley was contacted by her biological mother after winning her first world title but wasn’t ready to accept her or her children into her life yet. They have since set about repairing that relationship.

The trauma would instil in her the double-edged sword of low self-esteem and abandonment complexes. On the one hand, Layne says it compelled her to achieve greatness in the surfing arena, though on the other, it also played a role in the life and death struggle with depression and suicide that would later consume her.

The story of severe family and childhood trauma is a recurring one among many of surfing’s biggest names. John John Florence has remained largely estranged from his father after being raised as one of the three children to a heroic cash-strapped single mother on the North Shore of Oahu.

His neighbour, Jamie O’Brien, was also abandoned by a parent as a child, in his case, his mother. “The connection is there but it’s real vague,” he told The Surfer’s Journal. “It’s like, I love her, but my dad’s my mum pretty much. It’s hard, you know, because I didn’t leave, she left. And I’d imagine it’d be pretty hard to leave your kids.”

Coolie Kid and former World Tour surfer, Dean Morrison, was also the product of a badly broken home before being taken into care as an adolescent by the legendary Australian pro surfer and former ASP president, Rabbit Bartholomew.
Best mate Mick Fanning’s parents separated when he was two, leaving him to be raised by a working class single mother. Kelly Slater has spoken openly about his troubling relationship with his father, who was an alcoholic. He and his brother were sometimes forced to sleep outside on their concrete driveway due to his parents’ screaming matches. Kelly’s mother eventually kicked his father out when he was 11, with surfing becoming a release for much of his pain and anger.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/35PNtou-DJU

“Kelly used surfing as a replacement for intimacy and stability, and goes from being very present one minute to seemingly aloof the next,” Kelly once told reporter in mock self-analysis. “He’s a pretty complex case study because he lives a lot of different lives… his surroundings and friends constantly changing.”

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Billy Kemper, Mikey Wright, and Eli Olson Walk Into A Bar…

The Vans Pipe Masters heat draw is here. Let's break down the must-watch matchups

Dec 8, 2022

Watch: Kai Paula Has Arrived

Meet the 7th surfer to land a double spin in our final 2022 SEOTY entry.

Dec 8, 2022

30:27

Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022

30:37

“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022

21:04

‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022

3:53

Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022
Advertisement