Gabby Douglas Says She Was Also Sexually Abused by the Former U.S. Gymnastics Team Doctor

Less than a week after apologizing for her tweet shaming victims of sexual assault, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has alleged that she was sexually abused by former U.S. Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. The news comes shortly after Douglas's Fierce Five teammates McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman both claimed that Nassar abused them throughout their time competing with U.S. Gymnastics. 

CNN reports that the 2012 Olympic all-around gymnastics champion revealed her past with Nassar via Instagram, first apologizing again for commenting about women needing to dress modestly on Raisman's tweet about stopping victim shaming.  

"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," Douglas, 21, wrote in a statement. "It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar."

 

please hear my heart

A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas) on

"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," she said. "I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them."

The statement notably focuses more on Douglas responding to recent criticism and less on troubling encounters with Nassar. "I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, strength, being courageous and doing good instead of evil," she wrote.

Publicist Janice Lee later confirmed that Douglas's statement was intended to reveal that she was also one of Nassar's victims.

Upon Douglas's statement, USA Gymnastics said in a message to CNN, "We admire the strength shown by Gabby and her teammates in speaking out publicly to hold a predator accountable. The conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused is appalling, and we are very sorry that any athletes have been harmed during his or her gymnastics career...We want to work together with Gabby and all of our athletes, members, parents and professionals to promote an environment of empowerment that encourages speaking up, especially on difficult topics like abuse."

Nassar was arrested in November 2016 on charges of sexually assaulting female minors throughout his career. After pleading guilty to charges connected to child porn this past July, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct charges on Wednesday.

Although her earlier comments were not the best to make, Douglas coming forward as a victim shows that not everyone wants to be vocal or detailed about their experiences with sexual abuse, and this should not be something to judge. 

About The Author

Kristen is a 2017 graduate of Siena College with a degree in English and minors in Writing & Communications and Journalism. Although she constantly pines for life in London after studying there for a semester, she calls New York home for now. In addition to working as a writer and Senior Editor for Her Campus Siena, she has worked for Her Campus as a News and Pop Culture blogger and a national editorial intern. Currently a Nights & Weekend Editor, Kristen has previously written for New York Minute, London's Health and Fitness, and Electronic Products. She makes far too many references to "Friends" and the British royal family. Her blog, where she talks about books, TV, and film, can be found at Bookworms and Fangirls.