‘He Was a Great Horseman’
Some dispute the allegations against Mr. Williams. Susan M. Hutchison, a professional grand prix rider, began riding at Flintridge Riding Club when she was 5. When she was 18, she began living with Mr. Williams, who was then 55. The long-term partnership continued to his death, according to his obituary in The New York Times.
Ms. Hutchison has vehemently denied any abuse, and denounced the accusations in published reports. She declined a request to comment for this article.
Of the 22 club presidents over the course of Mr. Williams’s long tenure at Flintridge, almost all are deceased. Priscilla M. McClure, who served as president from 1977 to 1979, said that although she knew that “Jimmy kissed everyone indiscriminately,” not a single person had ever complained to her about Mr. Williams’s conduct. “It would have been my responsibility as president to look into such allegations,” she said.
“I believe every one of them, but I didn’t hear anything from any of them, and I didn’t hear anything from parents,” she said. “Perhaps that was because people knew that I regarded Jimmy as a friend. I would have been the last person anyone would have come to about that.”
Alan F. Balch, a president of the club during the 1970s, who at the time of Mr. Williams’s death was writing his biography, according to The Los Angeles Times, did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. In an extensive statement to The Chronicle, Mr. Balch said he heard of only a single incident: A former member called him on behalf of her daughter and another girl, whom he declined to name.
He detailed confronting Mr. Williams, who denied the accusations and indicated that competitive equestrian rivalries spurred the claims.
“It seemed to me that she, her daughter and Jimmy needed to make peace about all this among themselves, and I said so,” Mr. Balch said, according to The Chronicle. “Only they knew the whole truth about the matter.”