Jordyn Wieber, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics as a member of the Fierce Five, said on Friday, January 19, that she too was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The 22-year-old gymnast spoke at the disgraced doctor’s sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan.
“I thought that training for the Olympics would be the hardest thing I would ever have to do. But the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar,” Wieber said in court on Friday. “It’s caused me to feel shame and confusion … I have spent months trying to think back on my experience and wonder how I didn’t know what was happening to me and how I became so brainwashed by Larry Nassar and everyone at USA Gymnastics. Both whom I thought were supposed to be on my side.”
Wieber also took to Instagram to open up about her abuse. “Today, along with the support of my family, I have decided to come forward and share that I am a survivor of Larry Nassar’s abuse. I have spent time contemplating exactly what happened to me and decided to share my experience to be an advocate for change. Even though I am a victim, I will not and do not live my life as one,” she wrote on Friday via Instagram. “Thank you to my family, friends, teammates, colleagues and fans who have been supportive of me throughout this process. I ask that you respect my privacy during this difficult time.”
As previously reported, the ex-Michigan State University doctor pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls and possessing child pornography, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison on December 7. More than 130 women and girls — including fellow Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas — have accused him of inappropriate or abusive sexual behavior. More than 80 women, including Raisman, have addressed Nassar in court this week. More than 40 more women are also set to speak, so it’s possible that the hearing might continue on next week.
Nassar, who is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, complained to the judge overseeing his sexual abuse case that listening to his victims’ stories is detrimental to his health. The 54-year-old wrote a six-page, single-spaced letter to Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, saying, “I’m very concerned about my ability to be able to face witnesses this next four days mentally.”
“Now this is entertaining to me,” Aquilina said while reading the letter aloud in court on Thursday, January 18. “I suspect you have watched too much television. It’s delusional. You need to talk about these issues with a therapist and that’s not me.”
The judge went on to say that Nassar’s complaint “isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” adding, “You may find it harsh that you are here listening. But nothing is as harsh as what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands.”
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