Olympic gymnast Simone Biles said that after doctor Larry Nassar was accused of abusing his patients, she initially was in denial, even telling her parents it didn’t happen to her.
When she realized she had been molested under the guise of medical treatments, she completely broke down.
"I remember just bawling my eyes out," she said Wednesday.
Two weeks after she revealed on social media that she is a sex-abuse survivor, Biles spoke publicly about the ordeal in back-to-back interviews with Megyn Kelly and Hoda Kotb on TODAY.
She praised the judge who sentenced Nassar after a marathon victim-impact hearing, she chided the U.S. Olympic Committee for failing to reach out to her, and she talked about the long-lasting effects of abuse.
"It feels like he took a part of me that I can’t get back," Biles said.
She said her sense of trust has been shattered, and she even gets scared when walking down the street alone.
But, she said, she has faith that she will heal. "It will all come back with time."
Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, is the sixth Olympic medalist to publicly accuse Nassar.
The former team doctor for USA Gymnastics was in a Michigan courtroom Wednesday for his latest sentencing hearing, preparing to face for more than 50 girls and women.
Earlier this month, in a different Michigan courtroom, 156 accusers testified against him before Judge Rosemarie Aquilina gave him an epic tongue-lashing and sentenced him to 40 to 175 years.
"The judge is my hero because she gave it to him straight and didn’t let him get any power over the girls," Biles said.
To Judge Aquilina : THANK YOU, YOU ARE MY HERO
Shout out to all of the survivors for being so brave & speaking like the queens that you are while looking at that monster. He will no longer have the power to steal our happiness or joy. I stand with every one of you ?? pic.twitter.com/b5SMmjZgeW
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 24, 2018
"I wish she would have just given him a crazy number like 3,000 years," Biles said.
But, she added, "she was a boss and she was absolutely amazing."
Less amazing, she said, was the lack of response from the Olympic Committee after Biles, who is currently training for 2020, went public with her accusation.
"USOC has not reached out yet," she said. "As one of their athletes, I think it’s kind of crazy, but hopefully, they’ll reach out."
The committee, which has already apologized for skipping Nassar’s last sentencing hearing, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Biles’ remarks.
Nassar was first unmasked as a serial predator in September 2016 when the Indianapolis Star reported the first two allegations from former patients.
But it was the powerful statements by women over seven days at the last sentencing hearing that brought dramatic change:
- The president and athletic director of Michigan State University, where Nassar had his practice, resigned. (The school named John Engler interim president on Wednesday, over protest from some faculty and students who believe he is too entrenched).
- The Michigan Attorney General named a special counsel to investigate MSU and demanded a pile of records and emails.
- USA Gymnastics promised to boot its entire board of trustees and cooperate with an independent investigation called for by the Olympic Committee.
- USA Gymnastics cut ties with the Karolyi Ranch and Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Rangers to take over a probe into the ranch.