Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles recently opened up about the sexual abuse she faced at the hands of former USA Gymnastics coach Larry Nassar during an episode of If I Could Tell You Just One Thing.
The 22-year-old Biles told host Priyanka Chopra Jonas that she was depressed. She said she brushed off the notion of initially discussing the situation when she consulted friends about whether or not she was being sexually abused.
"I was like, no. I am not willing to put that out there for the world to see," Biles said. "They're not gonna see me as Simone the gymnast; they're gonna see Simone as the sexual abuse survive. And so I denied it. I buried it and I was very depressed."
Additionally, Biles said that she slept in order to cope with her situation. "I was very depressed. I like never left my room, I was sleeping all the time," she said. "I told, like, one of my lawyers, ‘I sleep all the time because it’s the closest thing to death.'"
Biles said that the first person she told about her abuse was her mother. It wasn't until detectives arrived at her house that she said she realized the significance of the situation.
"It wasn’t easy," Biles said. "But I feel like I’m a stronger woman today and I feel like telling my story has helped younger girls."
Biles was one of the hundreds of gymnasts who came forward alleging sexual abuse against Nassar. In January 2018, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
Biles will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which she recently said will be her last. In addition to capturing four gold medals and one bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, she became the first woman to win four World Championships all-around titles in 2018. She currently has 20 World Championship medals, including 14 golds.