In an Instagram post published on November 21st, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas revealed she was abused by former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar — along with many other young women who have already come forward with allegations against him.
Douglas is the third member of the U.S. 2012 Olympic gymnastics team to bring allegations against Nassar. McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman have also said that they were molested by him. Nassar was first accused of sexually abusing athletes a year ago, and more than 130 women have accused him of using medical exams as a guise for sexual abuse since.
Douglas faced criticism earlier this month for a now-deleted tweet on November 17th in which she wrote that women have a responsibility to “dress modestly and classy” so they don’t attract “the wrong crowd.” The heavily criticized tweet came in response to a tweet from Raisman that said women should have the right to wear whatever they want and remain free from sexual harassment and abuse.
Douglas’s Olympic team member Simone Biles was among those who criticized her for the tweet, accusing her of victim-blaming. Douglas later apologized for her initial response and clarified that she did not support victim-shaming.
“Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you. #metoo,” she tweeted.
i didn’t correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don’t stand alongside my teammates. regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. i am WITH you. #metoo— Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug) November 18, 2017
In the November 21st Instagram post, Douglas elaborated on her apology and said that she stood by her teammates and by their allegations.
“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 wrote. “It would be like saying because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar.”
Douglas’s publicist confirmed that, “Gabby is confirming that she too was a victim of Larry Nassar.”
Nassar pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault in a hearing on November 22nd. He faces at least 25 years in prison.
We admire Douglas’s willingness to address this difficult issue head-on, and we applaud her for coming forward with her own experience with sexual assault. We stand by her and by all of Nassar’s victims.