Most of you know me as a happy, giggly and energetic girl,” champion gymnast Simone Biles begins her letter. “But lately… I’ve felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head, the louder it screams.”
On Monday, in a statement posted to Twitter, 20-year-old Biles added her voice to the chorus of more than 140 gymnasts who have said they were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, The Washington Post reports.
“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 I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault,” the four-time Olympic gold medal winner said.
Biles joins several top-tier gymnasts who have accused Nassar of abuse, including Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney – all members the ‘Fierce Five’ American gymnastic team, which included Biles, that dominated in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘was I too naive? Was it my fault?‘ I now know the answer to those questions,” Biles posted to Twitter, echoing the confusion and misplaced self-blame felt by countless other victims. Her caption to the statement is a simple “#MeToo“.
“No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics, and others,” she said.