Simone Biles reveals she was among the over 130 women allegedly abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The renown American gymnast who won four gold medals in the 2016 Olympics on Monday revealed that she was also a victim of sexual abuse by the former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during his 29-year tenure as a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.Nassar who has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges allegedly abused more than 130 women including four other gymnastics gold medalists.
In a screenshot posted on Twitter, Biles wrote, “I too am one of the many survivors that were sexually abused by Larry Nassar.”
“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment,” she continued. “This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.”
Nassar’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Biles explained that she struggled with blaming herself for the abuse but has come to realize it was not her fault. She included the hashtag #MeToo in her tweet, indicating solidarity with women across the world who have shared stories of sexual assault, abuse, and misconduct in the wake of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Aly Raisman, a gold medalist and Biles’ teammate, Gabby Douglas, and McKayla Maroney, also gold medalists, had also reported abuse by Nassar. Maroney said she was abused when she was as young as 13yrs old.
Nassar was fired in 2015 by USA Gymnastics, the year a top collegiate gymnast and her coach reported Nassar. The physician was widely respected in his profession and had administered to US gymnastics teams across four Olympic games. The head of USA Gymnastics resigned after the scandal broke. USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where Nassar also worked, are facing federal civil lawsuits.
Nassar pled guilty in November 2017 to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, admitting that he put his finger in the vaginas and rectums of some patients going back as far as 1998. He is expected to be sentenced this week.
The Michigan attorney general has set aside several days this week for 88 accusers, possibly more, for victims to read statements on how Nassar’s abuse has affected them, according to the Lansing State Journal.
In November, Nassar pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and apologized to accusers in court.
“For all those involved, I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control,” he said. “I pray the rosary every day for forgiveness. I want them to heal. I want the community to heal.”