Australian Tennis legend John Newcombe has revealed new details about “party boy” George W. Bush’s 1976 drunk driving arrest that marred his 2000 Presidential campaign. The arrest occurred near his family’s Kennebunkport, Maine summer home after a night of heavy drinking with the Wimbledon champion, who was in the car with Bush.
Newcombe has been largely silent on the incident, but opened up to a Melbourne radio station Thursday night. The tennis star says that he was a guest of George H.W. Bush, then-director of the CIA.
He explained that he and Bush “went to the local pub” along with Newcomb’s wife, Bush’s younger sister, and Peter Roussel, press secretary to George Bush Sr. at the time.
“George was a bit of a party boy in those days,” Newcombe said of the war criminal. He explained that the two engaged in an unspoken drinking contest.
“I noticed that George was sort of eyeing me off,” he said, noting that the two began drinking “reasonable-sized mugs of beer.”
“I put on a bit of pace and he’d keep pace with me. A little silent game was going on,” he added. “After about four of these, I picked the glass up in my teeth without my hands and skulled it straight down and I said, ‘What are you made of, George?’ And so he had to do that.”
The two then staggered back to their car, and Newcomb’s wife offered to drive — but Bush has never been one to avoid placing others at risk; the man who would be President insisted he was fine to drive.
“We had about three miles to drive down this road along the sea and after about a mile he got pulled over,” Newcombe said. “The cop got out of the car and made him walk the line and back and he kind of did it alright but he was a bit cheeky when he was doing it,” he explained.
“The cop was writing him a ticket and then Peter Roussel got out of the car, and went over to the cop and was telling him he was George Bush’s son, and the cop, his name was Calvin, goes ‘Oh my God, I’ve just booked the son of the director of the CIA, I’m in real trouble.'” he said. “But he’s written the ticket.”
The former President was fined just $150 for the crime.