Aly Raisman says she believes she was a “textbook victim” of sexual abuse.
The Olympic gold medalist said Friday that former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her. The now-disgraced doctor, who has been accused of abusing more than 100 young female athletes, faces 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual misconduct and is awaiting sentencing.
“I was just so scared and nervous about what people were going to think,” Raisman told People in an interview published Monday. “I was a textbook victim, brainwashed to believe I was fine.”
Raisman also appeared on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday, where she said she had no idea she was being sexually abused because Nassar was “such a master manipulator.”
“I want people to know that I really didn’t know what was happening to me,” Raisman said. “He was a doctor and he told me that his treatment would help heal all of my injuries.”
“He was such a master manipulator, and I think that’s what’s 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,” she added.
The 23-year-old is the second member of the 2012 Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team ― dubbed the Fierce Five ― to speak out against Nassar. McKayla Maroney said in October that Nassar began sexually abusing her when she was 13 years old.
In her upcoming book Fierce, Raisman describes being treated by Nassar. Below is part of an excerpt from Fierce, which People obtained:
There was never a moment when [other doctors’] methods made me uncomfortable. It was different with Larry. I would lie on the table, my hands involuntarily balling themselves into fists as his ungloved hands worked their way under my clothing. ’Treatment sessions; with him always made me feel tense and uncomfortable.”
I would grit my teeth trying to convince myself that all this was part of the healing process. The truth was he never made my injuries feel any better, but I always obeyed because he had a reputation for being the best doctor.
Head over to People read more from Raisman’s book excerpt.