Simone Biles just opened up about the first time she realised she was assaulted
Olympic gold medalist, Simone Biles, has spoken out about the moment she realised that she had been sexually abused by former USA gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison in 2017, after being accused of molesting at least 250 young women and one young man - a number which includes a slew of well-known Olympic gymnasts.
In the debut episode of the YouTube series - If I Could Tell You Just One Thing - hosted by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the 22-year-old spoke candidly about the abuse she faced at the hands of the disgraced team doctor.
"I called [my friend] and I asked her the definition of 'sexually abused,' because some of my other friends, they had it worse than me." Biles responded when Chopra asked her when she knew she was a victim of abuse. "She said, 'If he did that and that, you've been sexually abused.'"
It took Biles some time to deal with the situation, as she wasn't "willing" for the world to see her as a sexual assault survivor instead of "Simone the gymnast". This, of course, proved to be unhelpful in the long run as the four-time world champion became more and more depressed. As she explained to the actress, she found it hard to leave her bedroom: "I was sleeping all the time and I told one of my lawyers, I said, 'I sleep all the time because it's the closest thing to death.'"
It wasn't until she read a story about a friend discussing her sexual assault, that Biles realised the gravitas of what had happened to her. She told her mom, and "then we had detectives come and stuff like that, and that was the moment I realised."
The 22-year-old has since been an active proponent of therapy and medication. During an appearance on Good Morning America, she said "I still go to therapy, and I'm on anxiety medicine now because I had a lot of ups and downs throughout the year and trying to figure out what was wrong."
Biles first revealed that she was a victim of Nasser's on social media last year.
"I, too, am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar," she 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 I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault."
"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 behaviour is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.
For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? was it my fault?’ I now know 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."