Tennis Legend Marries Partner In Secret After 40 Year Relationship

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King (right) with wife Ilana Kloss

Former female World No. 1 professional tennis player, Billie Jean King has opened up about her secret wedding to her partner of 40 years and former doubles partner Ilana Kloss.

King and Kloss who officially tied the knot 3 years ago, kept the marriage secret until now.

According to People, King and Kloss did in fact get married in 2018, a wedding officiated by the former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, all of which will appear in her upcoming memoir.


Speaking with People, the 77-year-old explained that only three other people knew about their wedding that was held at the former mayor’s Manhattan apartment: Dinkins, his wife, and one of their aides who acted as a witness.

“Nobody threw rice or smashed wedding cake in the other’s face,” King says in her memoir.

“One of the brides wore jeans and a lovely red scarf and the other had on a black shirt, a comfortable warm‑up suit, and pearls — ha! — a personal touch of glamour that Ilana still teases me about.”

“So much of our life has been public, keeping this private was something special we could hold on to, just for us,” she added.

Despite being together for 40 years, King says that they finally decided to get married following years of teasing and nudging from friends, adding she “had a big problem with trusting and it meant a lot to show my trust in Ilana.”

King, who says that she already felt “very married to Ilana, whether I had a piece of paper or not”, concluded that she never wanted Ilana or anyone to ever question how much she meant to her.