Barbra Streisand revealed her former flame Andre Agassi once hid himself in the trunk of his car to avoid a media frenzy while meeting her for dinner.
It was the 1990s prelude to Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce — Barbra repeatedly appeared in the stands at Andre’s tennis matches, setting off a maelstrom of publicity that left fans ravenous for details about their relationship.
In the case of Barbra and Andre, however, the attention came with a sting, frequently zeroing in on the yawning 28-year age gap between them, as Andre was 22 and Barbra was 50 when they were first linked.
Both of them have played coy about the true nature of their equation, with Andre describing their ‘forbidden’ connection as ‘nothing more than a passionate friendship’ while also dishing: ‘Dating Barbra Streisand is like wearing hot lava.’
Now, in her new memoir My Name Is Barbra, the legendary songstress has relayed her side of the ‘fun’ she had with Andre – and the lengths they went to in order to retain a few precious vestiges of privacy.
Wow: Barbra Streisand revealed her former flame Andre Agassi once concealed himself in the trunk of his car to avoid a media frenzy while meeting her for dinner; pictured 1992 when Agassi was 22 and Streisand was 50
Remember when: The pair were linked in the 1990s when Barbra repeatedly appeared in the stands at Andre’s tennis matches, as at Wimbledon in 1993
Letting it out: Now, in her new memoir My Name Is Barbra, the legendary songstress has relayed her side of the ‘fun’ she had with Andre
While she was in London to watch him in Wimbledon 1993, she went to a restaurant with a group of friends including Donna Karan, and ‘[w]hen Andre joined us for dinner, his driver actually hid him in the trunk of the car (it was funny at the time).’
At the time of that slapstick night on the town, Barbra was 51 years old – and Andre, at the height of his tennis stardom, was just 23.
They first struck up a rapport in 1992 after hotel tycoon Steve Wynn called Barbra to tell her Andre ‘admired’ her – to which Barbra replied: ‘Who?’
‘Since I don’t follow sports, I hadn’t heard of him,’ she explained in her book. ‘Steve explained that he was a tennis champion who was going to be playing at Wimbledon, so I said: “Oh, wish him well from me.”‘
Andre persisted in his quest to make her acquaintance, calling her up to compliment her on her new film The Prince Of Tides, which marked her second stint in the director’s chair after her debut with Yentl.
‘We ended up talking for two hours,’ wrote Barbra, who at that point still had no idea what the lusted-after tennis champ even looked like.
When Wimbledon began she finally watched him on TV, and was struck not only by his athletic prowess but also the fact he was ‘nice-looking, and had good teeth!’
Andre famously won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon that year, eliciting a congratulations telegram from Barbra.
Cozy: The pair are seen cuddling in in September 1992 when Barbra was 50 years old – and Andre, at the height of his tennis stardom, was just 22
Enraptured: They became acquainted on the phone after he called her up to compliment her on her new film The Prince Of Tides (pictured)
Intrigued: During Wimbledon 1992 (where Andre is pictured) she finally watched him on TV, and was struck by the fact he was ‘nice-looking, and had good teeth!’
‘Forbidden’: ‘More often than not,’ Andre maintained in his memoir Open: ‘Barbra and I laugh at the shock and scandal our dates cause’
According to Andre, the telegram included Barbra’s quip that after all their phone calls ‘it was nice to put a face with the voice.’
Then came the in-person dates, with Barbra reflecting that Andre was ‘smart, and even more appealing to me, he was emotionally wise beyond his years.’
Their relationship was ‘completely unexpected’ and ‘fun,’ she wrote – although one of her attempts to impress him had results that proved somewhat less than enjoyable.
‘I remember playing tennis with him as my partner in doubles (don’t laugh), and I was trying so hard that I tore my meniscus,’ she spilled. ‘I actually heard it pop, but I didn’t want to stop, even to ice it, because I didn’t want to look like a wimp.’
Her frequent appearances in the audience at his matches, especially during Wimbledon 1993, set the public’s tongues insatiably wagging.
The media ‘was all over us in London,’ to the point that Wimbledon was accompanied by a whole separate ‘game’ of ‘avoiding the tabloid photographers.’
Andre addressed the scrutiny of him and Barbra his own 2009 memoir Open, ghostwritten by the same author who later worked for Prince Harry on Spare.
‘Nothing, however, fascinates the Brits quite like Barbra Streisand,’ Andre reflected in his book while looking back at the Wimbledon she attended.
Dynamic duo: Andre whirled through a brief marriage to Brooke Shields before settling down with his fellow tennis star Steffi Graf, whom he is pictured with in 2018
Meanwhile: Barbra found lasting love in the 1990s with her husband James Brolin (left); the pair of them are pictured with Andre (center) in 2005
‘She arrives at Centre Court to watch me play and there is practically a flurry of trumpets. Celebrities attend Wimbledon all the time, but Barbra’s appearance causes a stir like none I’ve seen,’ he marveled.
‘Reporters harass her, then later pester me about her, and the tabloids take great pains to dissect and belittle our relationship, which is nothing more than a passionate friendship,’ Andre insisted.
Barbra similarly described her runaround with Andre as a ‘friendship’ in her new new book, which otherwise lays bare a dizzying array of romances.
‘More often than not,’ Andre maintained in Open: ‘Barbra and I laugh at the shock and scandal our dates cause. We agree that we’re good for each other, and so what if she’s twenty-eight years older?’
He and Barbra were, he felt, ‘simpatico, and the public outcry only adds spice to our connection. It makes our friendship feel forbidden, taboo – another piece of my overall rebellion. Dating Barbra Streisand is like wearing Hot Lava.’
Years after he and Barbra parted ways, Andre whirled through a brief marriage to Brooke Shields before settling down with his fellow tennis star Steffi Graf, whom he celebrated his 22nd wedding anniversary with last month.
Meanwhile Barbra found lasting love in the 1990s with her husband James Brolin, with whom she rang in her silver wedding anniversary in July.