Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Aly Raisman shares experience of Larry Nassar’s abuse in ‘Strong Girls,’ including fear in question of fears

The allegations that Larry Nassar sexually abused gymnasts in the 2000s and into the 2000s are particularly painful to hear. They echo accusations made against former Olympic gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi in the mid-2000s that initially allowed abuse to go unchecked.

Aly Raisman is just one of the gymnasts who shared that abuse. In her own words, she describes watching in horror as Nassar attacked her in his home, near the gym where she trained. He had allegedly groped her in his home before the practice, and with the bathroom door closed, approached her and molested her.

Now one of the most successful athletes in gymnastics history, Raisman describes her abuse in the film, which debuts on Lifetime on Wednesday night. The gold medalist is one of the over 150 gymnasts and former gymnasts who have accused Nassar of sexual abuse, according to multiple reports. The Texas doctor has been sentenced to over 175 years in prison in a Michigan criminal case.

“I was touched by him on the places where my clothes were tucked in,” she said. “You know, between my legs, and above my knees.”

Raisman, as well as McKayla Maroney, who is also featured in the film, spoke to Lifetime reporter Erin Hartwell about their struggles with self-doubt, and shared memories that often add to their stress.

Maroney shared the concerns she heard from her coach, John Geddert, when Maroney complained about Nassar’s advances to him. “You’re here for your talent. We should be using this to be role models for girls,” Geddert reportedly told her.

“He saw her as this thing in front of the world,” Geddert said of Nassar. “She wanted to be famous for being the best gymnast in the world, and that’s kind of wrong. She should be famous for being the best gymnast. She should be loved for who she is. She’s special. She’s incredible.”

Geddert also described Maroney as “super popular” with Nassar. In the film, Maroney is quoted as saying, “The right words were saying that they were loving me and I was just the best. And what were saying to me is that they were doing it for me.”

Read the full story at The Root.

Related

Read the victims’ impact statements in Larry Nassar’s first sexual abuse trial

Report: Nassar had porn on his work computer in 2017

25 sexual misconduct accusations against gymnastics coach

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