Days after news broke that Simone Biles’ brother had been arrested and charged with the murders of three people, the champion gymnast tweeted Monday to address the allegations.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist said she was “having a hard time processing” the news and hurting for “everyone involved, especially for the victims and their families.”
“There is nothing that I can say that will heal anyone’s pain, but I do want to express my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy,” the 22-year-old athlete wrote, adding a request that others “please respect my family’s privacy as we deal with our pain.”
Tevin Biles-Thomas, 24, was arrested Thursday and charged with the New Year’s Eve murder of DelVaunte Johnson, 19; Toshaun Banks, 21; and DeVaughn Gibson, 23, The New York Times reported.
The three men were shot at a house party in Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office and the Cleveland Division of Police said in a statement.
“Around 11:30 p.m., an uninvited group walked into the house and an altercation ensued between the uninvited guests and those who were invited. The altercation led to gunfire and multiple victims were shot, three of which were fatal,” the statement said.
Biles-Thomas, an active duty member of the U.S. Army who was stationed in Georgia, is the only person charged in the shooting so far.
As The Washington Post noted, Biles was not raised in the same household as all three of her siblings. Due to their mother’s addiction to drugs and alcohol, the children were adopted by other relatives when they were young.
Biles and her sister Adria lived in Texas after being adopted by their grandparents, whom Biles has referred to as her mom and dad. Biles-Thomas and sister Ashley lived in Cleveland and were adopted by their great-aunt.
Though Biles has not spoken extensively about her relationship with her brother, she has shared photos online of the two of them together.
“Everyone says we look like twins but we don’t see it,” she tweeted of her sibling in 2017.
Hours after her brother was arrested on Thursday, Biles tweeted that she was “eating my feelings” ― though she didn’t mention her brother or the allegations.
Over the Labor Day weekend, the athlete said on Instagram that she was partaking in a “girls day to drink happy thoughts.”