Gabby Douglas Says She Was Abused by USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar
Gabby Douglas, who made headlines over the weekend for a controversial remark about sexual abuse, has now come forward with her own allegations against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Her accusations follow similar claims from fellow gymnasts Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney (as well as many others).
Douglas previously faced backlash when she posted a message telling women to “dress modestly” in order to avoid attracting attention from “the wrong crowd.” She later apologized for the comment, tweeting, “I didn’t correctly word my reply & I am deeply sorry for coming off like I don’t stand alongside my teammates. Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you.”
On Tuesday, the 21-year-old followed up her statement with another in which she apologized once again and suggested that she too had been abused by Nassar.
“First I want to reiterate my apology for responding the way that I did to a comment that one of my teammates posted. I know some of you may take what I am about to say as insincere, but I still wanted to provide context,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I didn’t view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you. It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar,” the gold medal-winning athlete continued.
“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.”
Regarding the post, a spokesperson for Douglas told The New York Times, “Gabby is confirming that she too was a victim of Larry Nassar.”
Nassar, who resigned from USA Gymnastics in 2015 after the allegations came to light, is currently in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. He also faces more than 100 lawsuits that have been filed by athletes he treated while working with USA Gymnastics as well as Michigan State University.
(Photo via Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Women’s Sports Foundation)