- Aly Raisman is the second member of the famed “Fierce Five” US gymnastics team to come forward and accuse former team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse.
- Raisman says she had considered the doctor to be a friend, but later realised he was manipulating her.
- Raisman says USA Gymnastics has not done enough and accused them of telling her to be quiet.
Aly Raisman is the second member of the famed “Fierce Five” US gymnastics team to come forward and accuse former team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse.
Raisman told her story in her upcoming book, “Fierce.” She was also recently a guest on both “60 Minutes” and “Today,” where she opened up about why she didn’t speak up sooner, how she became a victim, and what she believes are insufficient measures by USA Gymnastics to stop sexual predators.
Raisman was first treated by Nassar when she was 15 years old. She was first approached by an investigator in 2015 after a coach had raised concerns about Nassar’s treatments.
“And I said, you know, ‘Well, he — his touching makes me uncomfortable, but he’s so nice to me. And I– I don’t think he does it on purpose because, you know, I think he cares about me,'” Raisman told “60 Minutes.”
Raisman says she was caught off guard by the investigator and later wanted to meet with her again. However, she says USA Gymnastics told her to keep quiet about the allegations.
“I still think they are not doing everything they can,” Raisman told “Today,” adding, “I kept reaching out saying I wanted to meet with [the private investigator] again, because I had time to process it, I realised it was really bad. I was basically told to keep it quiet, and that they were handling it. So they didn’t let me help. I want to help. I want to do more. The ’60 Minutes’ interview tonight, this interview, this is just the beginning, I’m just getting started, and I am not going to stop until I get what I want, which is change.”
According to “60 Minutes,” over 130 women have filed civil lawsuits alleging similar abuses by Nassar.
Raisman went on to explain to “Today” that she always thought Vassar was “weird,” but that she also considered him a friend because he always brought her gifts and desserts.
“I always thought he was weird, but I just thought he was weird,” Raisman told “Today.” “I really didn’t know it was happening to me. You know, he was a doctor and he told me his treatment would help heal all of my injuries. And I was so young. I had never really worked with another doctor or trainer before and everyone said he was the best. He would give me these gifts. So I really thought he was my friend. And he always seemed like he had my back. You know, he was such a master manipulator, and I think that’s what is important for people to understand, is that these monsters are so good at manipulating you. So you’re so brainwashed to think, I thought he was so nice.”
Raisman added on “60 Minutes”: “I didn’t know anything differently. We were told he is the best doctor. He’s the United States Olympic doctor and the USA Gymnastics doctor, and we were very lucky we were able to see him.”
According to “60 Minutes,” USA Gymnastics has a long-standing policy that adults should “avoid being alone with a minor.” However, according to Raisman, Vassar would treat her in hotel rooms when the two were alone, something echoed by McKayla Maroney in her recent letter describing her own alleged abuses.
According to “60 Minutes,” USA Gymnastics provided a statement saying, “it had recently adopted a ‘safe sport policy’ that requires ‘mandatory reporting’ of suspicions of sexual abuse and also sets standards to ‘prohibit grooming behaviour’ and ‘prevent inappropriate interaction’ between athletes and adults.” They added, “USA Gymnastics is very sorry that any athlete has been harmed … we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.”
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