Simone Biles, 22, Says She Slept A Lot To Cope With Sexual Abuse: ‘It’s The Closest Thing To Death’
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles appeared on Priyanka Chopra’s new YouTube show, ‘If I Could Tell You Just One Thing’, on Mar. 27, and she opened up about how she dealt with Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse as a child.
Simone Biles, 22, bravely revealed that she used to “sleep a lot” when she was dealing with former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar‘s sexual abuse as a kid, in a new interview with actress Priyanka Chopra, 36. The four-time Olympic champion gymnast appeared as the first guest on Priyanka’s new YouTube series, If I Could Tell You Just One Thing, which aired on Mar. 27, and she talked about her personal experience in the sexual abuse case that shocked a nation.
“I told one of my lawyers, I said, ‘I sleep all the time because it’s the closest thing to death’,” Simone told an empathetic Priyanka, about her depression during the abuse. She also talked about how she denied the abuse when she first suspected that she was being mistreated by the doctor. “I’m not willing to put that out there for the world to see,” she explained about why she was hesitant to come forward with the accusation against Nassar, who is currently serving an initial 40-175-year prison sentence. “They’re not going to see me as Simone the gymnast, they’re going to see Simone the sexual abuse survivor.”
It wasn’t until Simone decided to tell her mother about the abuse that she really took it in and realized what a big deal it was. “We had detectives come and that was the moment I realized…,” she said, before embracing in a hug with Priyanka. “It wasn’t easy, but I feel like I’m a stronger woman today and I feel like telling my story has helped younger girls.” When Priyanka asked her if she felt like a role model, the athlete was humble but realistic. ” Yes and no. I try not to let it alter how I behave because I want them [her followers] to always know the real raw Simone,” she said. “I’m a normal 21-year-old. We’re not gonna try to get arrested or have any videos on TMZ or anything, but you know, we have to live our normal lives.”
Simone’s courage is impressive. She officially accused Nassar of sexually abusing her in a statement she released on Twitter on Jan. 18, 2018. She also blamed USA Gymnastics for knowing about the abuse and covering it up. Simone was just one of the 250 young girls and women, including fellow gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and more, that Nassar was accused of molesting during his time as a gymnastics physician. He was also accused of molesting one man. Simone did not join some of the other survivors at the court hearing for the case because she was not emotionally ready to do so, but on Jan. 24, 2018, just six days after her statement was released, Nassar was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison. A few weeks later, he was sentenced to another 40-125 years in one court, and another 60 years for child pornography charges, in another court.