Gabby Douglas is the third member of the “Fierce Five” (following Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney) to say she was abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. The three-time Olympic gold medalist released a statement via social media on Tuesday, saying she didn’t speak earlier because “we were conditioned to stay silent.”
“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,” Douglas wrote. “I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them.”
A spokesman for Douglas has since confirmed with multiple outlets that her post is a confirmation that she was a victim of Nassar, who is expected to plead guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault on Wednesday.
Douglas’ statement comes less than a week after she was criticized online for her response to Aly Raisman’s post on victim shaming. While Raisman explained why she encourages women to “wear what you feel good in,” Douglas countered that it is “our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy” and that dressing provocatively “entices the wrong crowd.”
shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly ? & all the other women out there!
STAY STRONG pic.twitter.com/CccTzhyPcb
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 17, 2017
Douglas apologized for her response to Raisman in her statement on Tuesday, and asked for forgiveness for “not being more responsible with how I handed the situation.” She also insisted that she does not advocate “victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form.”
“To every other individual that commented to or about me hatefully, I apologize that I let you down too,” Douglas continued. “I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, strength, being courageous and doing good instead of evil. I have learned from this and I’m determined to be even better.”