Simone Biles, 20, took to Twitter on Jan. 15 to shockingly reveal that she was allegedly sexually assaulted by USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, 54. The Olympic bronze medalist joins a plethora of other gymnasts, including Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas, who have spoken out claiming that Nassar sexually abused them while they were under his care. “I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Simone’s statement read. “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 I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault. This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.”
Despite Simone’s decision to come forward, she still wants things within her inner circle to remain private. “As I continue to work through the pain, I kindly ask everyone to respect my privacy,” her statement continued. “This is a process, and one that I need more time to work through.” Nassar has reportedly been accused of sexually assaulting more than 100 women, many of which are gymnasts, and he’s already pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual misconduct. In addition to the gymnasts’ complaints, Nassar has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on a separate charge of child porn.
The allegations against Nassar prove that the entertainment industry isn’t the only place that sexual misconduct has secretly taken place. With the #MeToo movement in full effect, women and men in all industries are making the decision to come forward about terrible experiences they’ve had in the past that they’ve kept secret for so long due to a number of reasons. Awareness of sexual assault is raising with each new accusation, and many hope it will lead to a permanent positive change in the future.
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 15, 2018
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