Simone Biles Says She’s ‘Very Happy’ With Nassar Sentence

on Jan31

31 January 2018 | 4:10 pm

As disgraced Olympic doctor Larry Nassar headed to a Michigan courtroom again Wednesday to face another sentence for molesting gymnasts, gold-medalist Simone Biles appeared on the “Today” show and said she’s “very happy” that her abuser will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

Biles is one of several Olympic gymnasts, including Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Jordan Wieber, who accused Nassar of sexual assault. After the ex-doctor got up to 175 years for the crimes, Biles called the judge who sentenced him her “hero.”

“She gave it to him straight,” Biles said on “Today” of Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. “And [she] didn’t let him get any power over any of the girls.”

Aquilina gained attention for how she led the seven-day hearing, allowing more than 150 women and girls to submit statements and offering personalized responses to each victim. Aquilina said it was her “honor and privilege” to sentence Nassar, signing what she called his “death warrant.”

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“I was very happy. I wish she would have just given him a crazy number,” Biles said of Aquilina’s sentencing. “She was a boss, and she was absolutely amazing.”

Biles’ “Today” interview was emotional at times, with both her and host Hoda Kotb holding back tears. As Kotb assured Biles that Nassar “can’t hurt you anymore,” Biles replied, “No, he cannot.”

Kotb wondered how Biles and the other Olympians were able to win gold medals for the U.S. while also dealing with the abuse that would eventually lead to the resignation of numerous officials and cause Congress to take action. Biles said they just focused on the competition.

“We’re very good at compartmentalizing things,” she told Kotb. “We just kind of push it in the back of our heads because … we don’t want ourselves to think of that. Once we go out there, we go out there with full heart and compete, because that’s what we love to do.”

Nassar is not the only one at the center of the controversy. Raisman, Biles’ 2016 teammate, railed against USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for being complacent during the abuse, also claiming that no one from the organizations had reached out to Nassar’s victims in recompense. Though Biles said new USA Gymnastics President Kerry Perry did introduce herself, the gymnast also said no one has talked to her about her experience with Nassar.

“I think it’s kind of crazy, but hopefully they’ll reach out,” Biles said, agreeing with Kotb that the silence is “ridiculous.”

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The Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on Biles’ claim.

Though Biles said “it’s very hard for someone to go through what I’ve gone through,” she has not stopped pushing forward. The 20-year-old said she is busy training for the 2020 Olympics, conquering her schooling and getting her business degree, as well as promoting the new Lifetime movie based on her life.

“There’s a lot more that I have that I want to put out there,” Biles said.

Harkening back to powerful words spoken by Aquilina in the courtroom, Kotb said, “Leave your pain here; go out and do magnificent things.”

Biles replied: “And that is what we shall do.”



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