Olympian Gabby Douglas says she too was sexually abused by team doctor

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, who recently faced backlash for her questionable comments on sexual harassment, has come forward to say that she too was sexually abused by team doctor Larry Nassar.

In an Instagram post, Douglas apologized on Tuesday about her previous victim-blaming tweet that said it is “our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy” to avoid enticing “the wrong crowd.” In her apology, Douglas not just stressed that “no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you,” but she also claimed that her comments, which were in response to a tweet by fellow Olympian and alleged Nassar victim Aly Raisman, were hypocritical because she herself was violated by the doctor.

“It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar,” Douglas wrote. “I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful. I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them.”

please hear my heart

A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas) on

Over 140 women claim Nassar sexually molested them during medical exams, including fellow Fierce Five members Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

Douglas went on to say that she “wholeheartedly” supports her teammates that came forward, and she asked fans to forgive her “for not being more responsible with how I handled the situation.”

“I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape, or form!” she clarified. “I will also never support attacking or bullying anyone on social media or anywhere else.”

Douglas’ post sparked a lot of discussion online about how victims are “supposed to” react to being assaulted. In light of her coming forward about Nassar, many point out that Douglas’ original comments read more like an abuse victim grappling with the internalized cultural values that, she herself describes, “conditioned [her] to stay silent.”

Still, many agree Douglas deserved the criticism for her original statement.

https://twitter.com/LSS_LO/status/933101379786125312

Meanwhile, others think online toxicity is damaging to women of color like Douglas, because, as one user puts it, activists “built” Douglas up only to “tear her down” after she made a mistake.

https://twitter.com/_hopepeacelove/status/933195235974193152

https://twitter.com/JRonMelrose/status/933229780454879232

Either way, Raisman clearly doesn’t have any hard feelings toward her teammate.

Nassar currently faces 22 first-degree criminal sexual conduct counts. It has been speculated that Nassar will plead guilty to sexual assault charges in court, according to the New York Times.

H/T Raw Story

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.