In Court Filing, Simone Biles Identifies Herself as Plaintiff In U.S. Gymnastics Abuse Civil Case


Jun 16, 2020


Image Credit: Hitesh Sonar for The Swaddle/ TY Wright

Simone Biles is a plaintiff in the ongoing civil case against USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), according to a public court filing. Attorneys for around 140 gymnasts, including Biles, filed a motion seeking the testimony of current and former Olympics officials on Monday, with respect to USOPC and U.S. gymnastics’ handling of the Larry Nassar case.

Nassar, previously a doctor with U.S. Gymnastics, is currently serving a sentence of 230 years after being found guilty on seven counts of sexual assault of young gymnasts under his care, and the possession of child pornography. Biles, who is currently the most decorated American gymnast, with 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, is also a survivor of Larry Nassar’s abuse, and did not testify in the criminal case against Nassar.

The civil case against U.S. Gymnastics began in 2018, and seeks to uncover how much the organization knew about the abuse before reporting it to law enforcement. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, an investigation against Nassar did not start until 10 months after the first allegation was reported. Attorneys representing U.S. Gymnastics had proposed a $215 million settlement offer in February 2020, which the survivors rejected. This was because the settlement expected survivors to release the United States Olympics and Paralympics Committee from any current or future claims, thus precluding any further compensation for survivors, and preventing them from offering testimony in court.

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The court filing on Monday, June 15, stated, “The intent is to shield the survivors, court and public from the truth regarding what USOPC knew about the sexual abuse of its athletes,” according to a report by ESPN.

In 2015, Biles was sent to do promotional appearances without being made aware of U.S. Gymnastics’ investigation of Larry Nassar. Her name was not sent to the federal authorities, even when Biles was one of the first few people to internally raise questions about Nassar’s behavior. Biles was neither made aware of the investigation nor intimated that the FBI was interviewing people until August 2016, when she returned from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Early in 2019, Biles told reporters “We had one goal, and we’ve done everything that they’ve asked us for, even when we didn’t want to, and they couldn’t do one damn job.”


Written By Aditi Murti

Aditi Murti is a culture writer at The Swaddle. Previously, she worked as a freelance journalist focused on gender and cities. Find her on social media @aditimurti.


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