Olympic star Simone Biles has added her voice to the #MeToo movement, revealing in a statement via Twitter that she, too, was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
More than 140 women have accused Nassar of probing and fondling them without gloves, warning or permission under the guise of giving them “treatment,” the Washington Post reports. Biles implied that the assault she suffered was similar.
“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 behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust,” Biles wrote in her statement.
“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl. But lately … I’ve felt a bit broken,” the 20-year-old added. “I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.”
Biles, a standout in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics who secured four gold medals and a bronze during the 2016 Games, is the third member of “the Final Five” to accuse Nassar of abuse, alongside Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Biles credited her friends and other survivors with helping her to come forward at this point with her own story.
“After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me,” she wrote. “We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us. We need to make sure something like this never happens again.”
Raisman tweeted out her support for Biles that same day.
As the Post notes, Biles’ statement came out the day before Nassar’s sentencing hearing began in Lansing, Mich. Per a plea deal, Nassar pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct. The 54-year-old is already facing a 60-year sentence for federal child-pornography crimes and is due for another sentencing, scheduled for later this month, related to three more cases of sexual assaults committed in another county in Michigan.
Read more at the Washington Post.