Former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar may be behind bars, but the harm he caused to many young girls will continue to affect them for years to come. Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles was one of the many girls who trusted Nassar to provide her with the medical care she needed to continue succeeding in her sport. Unfortunately, he used his position to take advantage of her.
In a new YouTube series by actress Priyanka Chopra entitled “If I Could Tell You Just One Thing,” Biles is speaking out about how she used to try to cope with the sexual abuse and the struggle that she continues to face today because of Nassar’s actions, according to Today.
Before Nassar was accused of sexual abuse, he was looked at as one of the most highly acclaimed medical professionals in his field. Parents would travel miles away from home so that their children could receive treatment from him for various athletic related injuries. Because many of his victims were so young, they could not fully comprehend what was happening to them when they entered his exam room. However, slowly but surely, young women began coming forward to share the terrifying experiences they had endured while in his care.
Simone Biles Recalls Sleeping to Cope With Sexual Abuse https://t.co/5yChVNK2j7
Revealing she suffered depression, she tells Chopra, “I told one of my lawyers, I said, ‘I sleep all the time because it’s the closest thing to death.'”
— GymCastic (@GymCastic) March 27, 2019
Fellow Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney were among those who testified against Nassar in his infamous trial that concluded in January of 2018. Even after watching so many come forward to share their stories, Biles was understandably hesitant to go public with what had happened to her. Now 22-years-old, the gymnast recalls how she was afraid that she’d never be viewed in the same way after coming forward.
“I’m not willing to put that out there for the world to see. They’re not going to see me as Simone the gymnast, they’re going to see Simone the sexual abuse survivor,” she said of her concerns.
In the meantime, she was suffering in silence. She took long naps during the day in an effort to escape from the pain Nassar had caused her.
“I told one of my lawyers, I said, ‘I sleep all the time, because it’s the closest thing to death.”
Nevertheless, Biles did eventually come forward to speak her truth. Nassar later admitted that he had used his position as a doctor for Michigan State University and for USA Gymnastics to sexually abuse women and young girls for decades under the pretense that he was giving them medical treatment. He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.