Simone Biles Speaks Candidly About Depression and Recovery After Sexual Abuse

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In a candid interview about depression and recovery after sexual abuse, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles described how she came to terms with being sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics now serving multiple sentences on charges of child pornography and sexual assault of minors.

In her new YouTube series, actress Priyanka Chopra asked Biles about her process of coming forward about and coping with the abuse. “When did you know that you were abused, because you were so young?” Chopra asked.

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“There was a time I asked my friend and I called her, and I asked her the definition of sexually abused. Because some of my other friends, they had had it worse than me,” Biles said. “I kind of brushed it off. I said no, I’m not willing to put it out there for the world to see. They’re not gonna see me as Simone the gymnast, they’re gonna see Simone as a sexual abuse survivor.”

“I denied it. I buried it,” she continued. “And I was very depressed.”

“I like never left my room, I was sleeping all the time,” she continued. “I told, like, one of my lawyers, ‘I sleep all the time because it’s the closest thing to death.’”

After another victim came forward with allegations against Nassar, Biles came forward, too—first to her mother, and then to the police. That has been part of her own recovery process, said: “I feel like telling my story has helped younger girls.” 

Watch the full interview with Biles below:

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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