Gymnast Simone Biles has revealed that she was sexually abused by former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar, tweeting, “I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.”
On Monday, the 20-year-old gold medalist shared her story on Instagram and Twitter, writing, “Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl…but lately, I’ve felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.”
“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” she shared. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.”
Biles continued, “It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment. This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.”
She added that the decision to come forward wasn’t easy, writing, “For too long, I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naïve? Was it my fault?’ I know now the answer to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others.”
Explaining that it “breaks my heart” to train at the same facility where she was abused, before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Biles added, “I know that this horrific experience does not define me. I am much more than this. I am unique, smart, talented, motivated, and passionate. I have promised myself that my story will be much greater than this and I promise all of you that I will never give up.”
Nassar, 54, a Michigan doctor who worked with the USA Gymnastics organization for 20 years, was arrested in December on federal child pornography charges, according to NBC News. Nassar also faces dozens of lawsuits from women who claimed he sexually abused them under cover of giving them medical attention. NBC also reports that some of Nassar’s victims are expected to attend or speak during his sentencing on Jan. 16.
In November, Biles came to the defense of three-time medalist Aly Raisman — another victim of Nassar’s — after the 23-year-old was slammed by fellow gymnast Gabby Douglas for “enticing the wrong crowd.”
— TripleTwist (@TripleTwistGym) November 17, 2017
When Raisman tweeted a plea to stop shaming victims on the basis of their clothing, Douglas responded, “It is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”
Biles joined the social media backlash against Douglas, tweeting, “Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there! STAY STRONG.”
shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there!
STAY STRONG pic.twitter.com/CccTzhyPcb
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 17, 2017
Ultimately, Douglas quickly issued an apology, tweeting, “I didn’t correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don’t stand alongside my teammates. regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. i am WITH you. #Metoo.”
i didn’t correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don’t stand alongside my teammates. regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. i am WITH you. #metoo
— Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug) November 18, 2017
Shortly after the uproar, Douglas admitted in an Instagram post that she was also abused by Nassar.
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