A girlfriend of Michael Phelps has revealed that she was born and brought up as a man, media reports said yesterday.
Taylor Lianne Chandler, who dated the 29-year-old American swim star for months, wrote a long post on her Facebook page on Nov 14 in which she revealed that she was "born intersex and named David Roy Fitch" at birth.
"I was born with male genitalia with no testicles, but I also have a uterus and no ovaries," the 41-year-old told Radar Online in an interview.
She also said that she has always felt like a woman, and underwent surgery in her teens to become one.
In her post, she said she dated many celebrities, none of whom knew about her past.
Ms Chandler met Phelps on dating app Tinder and was with the holder of a record 18 Olympic gold medals when he was arrested for drink driving on Sept 30.
He has been suspended from competition and checked himself into a rehabilitation facility last month.
Ms Chandler said she did not tell Phelps about her complicated past, but had told him about it via e-mail after his arrest.
"I never lied to him," she said. "We were together for such a short period of time, I never had a chance to tell him about my life."
She also told Radar Online that the intimacy she felt with Phelps was "amazing" and it was the first time "someone has made me feel like a real woman".
She said it is not clear if they will be together after his rehabilitation.
"Michael is a brand, and dating someone like me may not be the best thing," she told Radar Online. "I just hope he follows his heart and not what his people tell him."
After tabloid magazine National Enquirer featured Ms Chandler on its cover, with the headline "Michael Phelps' new girlfriend was born a man", she lashed out on social media, objecting to being called "a man".
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