Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles released a statement today alleging that now-disgraced Team USA doctor Larry Nassar assaulted her, along with over 100 women over the course of his volunteer career with USA Gymnastics.
In a statement released via Twitter and Instagram, Biles joins her Olympian teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas in accusing the doctor of sexual assault during her time in training while Nassar was employed by the team on a volunteer basis.
“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.”
In her statement, the Dancing with the Stars alumna goes on to say that she spent a long time wondering if her assault was her fault or the result of being “too naive,” but in light of #MeToo and a changing tide in women’s rights, she realized that she was not to blame for her assault.
“After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors,” she continued, “I know that this experience does not define me. I am much more than this. I am unique, smart, talented, motivated and passionate.”
Biles goes on to say that she will not let one man destroy her drive and determination, and that it is important to learn why his abuse went on for so long.
“As I continue to work through the pain, I kindly ask everyone to respect my privacy,” she concludes. “This is a process. One that I need more time to work through.”
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(Photo via Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis)