Simone Biles speaks out about trauma after Larry Nassar sexual abuse

Simone Biles speaks out about trauma after Larry Nassar sexual abuse
‘I just remember breaking down and calling my mom’

Oympic gymnast Simone Biles has spoken out about the sexual abuse she faced from former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing women and girls as a doctor for USA Gymnastics and at Michigan State University after being accused of abusing more than 150 people, including Ms Biles.

In the latest episode of her Facebook Watch docuseries, Simone vs Herself, the 24-year-old gymnast described the moment that she called her mother, telling her that what happened to her had been abuse.

“I remember driving on the highway over here on 99, and I was like, ‘[Gasps], that happened to me.’ And I just remember breaking down and calling my mom. She told me to pull over. She’s like, ‘Can you drive?’ because I was crying so hard,” Ms Biles said.

Nellie Biles, Simone’s mother, says her daughter had initially been in denial about the abuse she faced, saying, “No, don’t talk to me. That didn’t happen to me” when the subject came up.

When she got the call from her daughter, however, she said she immediately understood why she was crying.

“She was just hysterical. She didn’t say anything. She just cried, and we just cried together – because I knew what it was that she wanted to talk about,” Nellie said. “She didn’t have to say anything.”

In the video, Ms Biles also described the difficulties she faced coping with the impact of the trauma she suffered.

“I slept all the time and it’s because sleeping was basically better than offing myself,” she said.

“It was like my way to escape reality, and sleeping was like the closest thing to death for me at that point. So I just slept all the time,” Ms Biles said.

“With gymnasts, if you get injured, you’re like, OK, your heal time is four to six weeks, but then with something so traumatic that happens like this, well it’s no four to six weeks, so it’s hard for us to process that,” the gymnast, who is preparing to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, said.

“There’s like actually no time limit or healing time for it, so you just take it day by day,” she said.

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