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Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles took to Twitter on Monday to say that she, too, was molested by team doctor Larry Nassar.
“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles wrote. “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 that l have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.”
Biles, who holds four Olympic gold medals in gymnastics, used #MeToo in her post, saying she is “not afraid to tell my story anymore.” Women across the world have used the hashtag to describe their experiences sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Nassar will be sentenced on seven sexual assault charges in Michigan court this week in a four-day-long hearing starting Tuesday. He is expected to receive life in prison. More than 140 women say Nassar abused them, including U.S. gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman.
“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment,” Biles wrote in her post. “This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.”
Raisman tweeted Monday that she would not be attending Nassar’s sentencing because it is “too traumatic.”
I will not be attending the sentencing because it is too traumatic for me. My impact letter will be read in court in front of Nassar. I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together. #StopAbuse— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) January 15, 2018
Raisman and Maroney have both criticized USA Gymnastics for trying to keep them quiet after they told a private investigator about Nassar’s abuse, NBC News reported.
.@USAGym STOP VICTIM SHAMING. Your statements are hurtful. If you did not believe that I & others were abused than why pressure & manipulate us? WE WERE MOLESTED BY A MONSTER U ENABLED 2 THRIVE FOR DECADES. You are 100% responsible. It was mandatory to get "treatment" by Nassar.— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) January 10, 2018
In her post, Biles expressed her commitment to self-healing—even though her Olympic training will force her to return to the training facility where she was abused—and asked fans to respect her privacy.
“After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me,” she wrote. “I am much more than this.”
H/T NBC News
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.