Gabby Douglas opens up in Aly Raisman apology: I was abused, too
By Hannah Withiam
New York Post
November 21, 2017
Gabby Douglas added her name to the long list of female gymnasts who said they were victims of Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse in a post apologizing for her misguided comments last week.
In walking back her controversial response to Aly Raisman’s message on victim shaming — in which Douglas said women should dress “modestly” and not provoke the “wrong crowd” — the three-time Olympic gold medalist indirectly noted she too was sexually molested by Nassar over the years he worked for USA Gymnastics.
“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,” Douglas wrote on Instagram Tuesday.
“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.”
Douglas has apologized repeatedly since calling out Raisman, her former teammate, on Twitter after Raisman addressed those who have criticized her for doing a “sexy photoshoot” with Sports Illustrated earlier this year. Raisman, who recently came forward with her allegations against Nassar, said her decision to appear in the photoshoot wearing a bathing suit does not give anyone the right to victim shame her.
After deleting her original post, which caused outrage on social media, and issuing an immediate apology, Douglas expanded on her intentions Tuesday.
“I understand that many of you didn’t know what I was dealing with, but it is important to me that you at least know this,” the 2012 all-around gold medalist wrote. “I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form! I will also never support attacking or bullying anyone on social media or anywhere else.”
Simone Biles, the star of the 2016 Olympic gymnastics competition as a teammate of Douglas’ and Raisman’s, was quick to defend Raisman after Douglas’ dismissive response, which she said shocked her to see in writing but didn’t “surprise” her.
“Honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there,” Biles wrote.
Raisman, 23, opened up last Sunday on “60 Minutes” about her uncomfortable sessions with Nassar, which she felt pressured to keep under wraps since they were considered “part of the healing process.” She explained how she would clench her hands into fists while Nassar’s “ungloved hands worked their way under my clothing.”
McKayla Maroney, a member of the US’ “Fab Five” team in London in 2012, also accused Nassar of molesting her, including the night before she won a gold medal at the 2011 world championships in Tokyo.
Nassar is expected to plead guilty and face at least 25 years in prison, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, on charges of molesting seven girls.