Back in October, we were the first to report on a woman named Taylor Lianne Chandler – a 42-year-old sign language interpreter and crisis management consultant who was involved in a romantic relationship with Michael Phelps at the time of Phelps’ DUI arrest.
In the months since, many new details emerged about Chandler and her dealings with Phelps.
She has said that their relationship was not monogamous, but not purely sexual, either.
She’s stated that while she and the Olympian were not exclusively dating, she felt betrayed when Phelps announced his engagement to Nicole Johnson just days after he complete his stint in rehab.
Chandler has open about her feelings toward Phelps and her sudden fame throughout her ordeal, but much of what we know about her comes from tabloid hearsay (several media outlets reported that Chandler was born a man) and private conversations that leaked online.
(Chandler commented on Phelps’ penis size and love of prostitutes in an online exchange that wound up going public.)
We recently reached out to Chandler to offer her the opportunity to set the record straight on everything from her career as an adult film star to her feelings toward the world’s most famous swimmer.
Though she admitted that she "initially hated" THG for being the first to report on her ties to Phelps, she offered a remarkably candid take on the events of the past six months.
Here is what she had to say:
On Dating Phelps: "We talked everyday. The first night I didn’t get a goodnight from him was September 29th, and now we know its because he was arrested…It is a debilitating feeling to see the man you cared about, that cared about you, that laid with you and was intimate with you on so many levels reject and abandon you."
On Her Gender Identity: "I am not a man. I am not a transsexual or transgender. There is nothing wrong with being that, I am just not. I didn’t purposely keep it from Michael or anyone else I have dated. It is not something that I think is anyone’s business."
"My formal diagnosis is called Mosaic, intersex is the umbrella term that covers all birth challenges like this. The media uses my birth defect as a sensational headline calling me a man, a he/she or an it. I am a girl."
On Abuse She’s Received From Phelps’ Fans: "They hate me and distrust me. They take the fact that I held things back in the beginning and shared more later as lying. They try to interpret and twist everything I say to make me out to be crazy, delusional or whatever else they choose to call me…
I probably did say or share too much at times. I reacted often out of anger at Michael for lying to me, about other women, not acknowledging our relationship and his sister Hilary’s attacks of me herself and through her myriad of friends."
When Asked if Phelps Owes Her an Apology: "I know he owes me an apology. Two people paid the price that night for his DUI. I lost my career as an interpreter that depends on being invisible and private. I lost my contract as a crisis management consultant as well…I don’t think he needs to publicly apologize, but privately would mean a lot to me."
On His Engagement: "I think the engagement is a way to rebuild his image and erase me. I think it is a media strategy that Octagon [the agency that represents Phelps] set in motion to make sure his world and endorsements stayed status quo."
On Her Career in Adult Film: "I signed a three year contract with Vivid which produced my celebrity sex tape under Vivid Celeb Imprint, Going for the Gold with Ty Roderick playing Michael Phelps which tells the story of our love affair…
"There will be a second film released at some point which is more 50 Shades of Grey, but still based on my relationship with Michael. It was filmed at the same time as Going for the Gold. I will be starting a Burlesque type show and traveling the country meeting my new found fans with the company Centerfold Strips."
On What She’d Like the World to Know About Her Relationship With Phelps: "That we really were together. He really liked me and pursued me and our time together was amazing. I was not a one off or a jump off or a side chick. He knew from day one that I was a relationship type girl."
When Asked If She Believes Phelps is a Good Person: "If I set aside my hurt feelings I would have to say yes. I think he wants to be a good person and tries to be a good person."
"It is that niceness and charm that made me fall for him and give myself to him and want to continue to be in his life… I think he makes bad decisions and doesn’t realize the consequences or how it will hurt the people he says he cares about."