Aly Raisman details the alleged assaults that she endured for years while being treated by Dr. Larry Nassar in her new book Fierce.
She writes that it all began when she was 15 and practicing through her pain in Australia ahead of a meet.
A USA Gymnastics official suggested that she get treated by Dr. Nassar, saying that the registered osteopath who was a volunteer with the organization could help her sore heels and back pain.
‘I didn’t want to be labeled as uncooperative, so finally I said okay,’ writes Raisman.
She immediately realized something was different than her previous treatments, but said nothing at the time.
‘There was something about the massage that made me uncomfortable, but the staff member’s words stuck in my head,’ states Raisman.
This is the same story many of Nassar’s accusers have told, alleging that he would digitally penetrate them anally and vaginally with ungloved hands under the guise of treatment.
Raisman, who is the most high profile victim to emerge, has said that she will not go into specific detail about Nassar’s alleged abuse.
London Games: Aly Raisman, 23, details the years of sexual assault she allegedly endured when Dr. Larry Nassar would molest her under the guise of treatment in Fierce (Raisman and Nassar in 2012 circled in red with another alleged victim McKayla Maroney in front center)
Horrible: She writes that the volunteer osteopath with USA Gymnastics would ‘close his eyes’ or ‘seem out of breath’ while treating her (above on Tuesday)
Victim: He would also come to her hotel rooms unannounced and say she needed massages claims Raisman, the first time being when she was 16 (above on Monday)
Raisman writes that she was told it was an ‘honor’ to be treated by Dr. Nassar, and for that reason she stayed silent.
‘That’s probably why I didn’t question why Larry would sometimes close his eyes or seem out of breath when he worked on me,’ writes Raisman.
‘I felt guilty for thinking badly of someone everyone else liked.’
Raisman reveals though that she never had these experiences with other doctors.
‘When I lay on my stomach to have my hamstrings worked on, towels were draped over my hips and buttocks for privacy and to ensure there was no inappropriate skin-to-skin contact. They never, ever crossed any lines in where they massaged,’ writes Raisman.
‘And there was never a moment when their methods made me uncomfortable. It was different with Larry.’
She goes on to say: ‘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.’
Raisman’s book was released on Tuesday
Raisman began to realize over the years that other girls also had this issue while attending camps around the country.
It was at one of those camps that during a conversation with one girl she said: ‘I feel like if it wasn’t okay he would’ve already been fired. Someone would have said something it it was wrong.’
That is what may have kicked off the investigation into Nassar reveals Raisman, who writes that a coach who overheard her comment told an official with USA Gymnastics.
‘Alarm bells went off in her head,’ writes Raisman.
‘And then she did the right thing: She spoke up.’
The investigation into Dr. Nassar also caused problems for Raisman however, who says she justified his behavior.
And when she asked to speak with the investigator again having realized she was being assaulted, Raisman says that USA Gymnastics asked her to stop speaking about Nassar with any other person.
USA Gymnastics said earlier this week that they were ‘appalled’ by the allegations against Nassar, stating: ‘We are committed to doing what is right, and we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.’
Brave: Raisman says that he was reported after a coach overhears her talking about his treatments with a fellow gymnast (above on Monday)
Powerful: On Today, Raisman said that her interview already empowered one young girl to speak out about her alleged abuser (Raisman above with Nassar accuser Maroney and Gabby Douglas at the 2012 Games)
Raisman previously accused some top-ranking officials at USA Gymnastics of abhorrent behavior, claiming that she and her teammates from the 2016 Rio Games were ignored by a table of executives from the sport’s governing body during their Hall of Fame induction this summer.
That childish display came shortly after Raisman spoke with the FBI and detailed how she was allegedly abused by Dr. Nassar under the guise of ‘treatment.’
Raisman also claimed that USA Gymnastics stopped her from speaking with the FBI after she tried to seek out the female agent she first spoke with about Nassar – before she realized she was being abused by the doctor.
Nassar entered a guilty plea to child porn charges in July (above in 2016 mugshot)
After her initial interview, Raisman came to realize she herself was a victim, and tried to speak again with that agent.
That is when USA Gymnastics stepped in she claims, and stopped her outreach.
‘Shortly after she left, it hit me. And I reached back out to an official with USA Gymnastics and I said, “I have to speak to her again. I was making excuses for him and it’s not right,’ Raisman said on Monday while appearing on Megyn Kelly Today.
‘I was not given a courtesy of speaking with her. And was told to just mind your own business.’
Despite this personal tragedy and what many see as a huge failure of USA Gymnastics to protect young women like Raisman, the two-time Olympic team captain confirmed Monday morning on Today that she will be back for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Dr. Nassar denies the allegations of all his accusers.
He is currently behind bars in a Michigan prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography in July.
Authorities revealed back in December of last year that they had discovered over 37,000 images and videos of child pornography featuring girls as young as six and a Go Pro video of Nassar molesting a group of young girls in a pool.
Over 130 women have come forward to accuse Nassr, including Raisman’s Olympic teammate McKayla Maroney.
Many of these women, including Raisman and Maroney, claim they were underage at the time of their first alleged assault.
Raisman revealed that she justified Dr. Nassar’s behavior to the FBI investigator at first because she was so under his spell, viewing him as a friend.
‘I said, you know, “Well, he – his touching makes me uncomfortable, but he’s so nice to me,”‘ said the six-time medal winner.
‘”And I don’t think he does it on purpose because, you know, I think he cares about me.”‘
Raisman then noted: ‘I think it’s important for people to know too I’m still trying to put the pieces together today. You know it impacts you for the rest of your life.’
She was also being treated alone by the doctor, despite that being against both USA Gymnastics and US Olympic policy.
‘Nobody ever educated me on, “Make sure you’re not alone with an adult.” You know, “Make sure he’s not making you uncomfortable.” I didn’t know the signs. I didn’t know what sexual abuse really was,’ said Raisman.
‘And I think that needs to be communicated to all of these athletes, no matter the age.’
Balances: A young Raisman practicing in Massachusetts, a decade before earning Olympic gold
The entire situation was made all the more confusing said Raisman because of Dr. Nassar’s behavior.
‘He would always bring me, you know, desserts or gifts. He would buy me little things. So I really thought he was a nice person,’ said Raisman.
‘I really thought he was looking out for me. That’s why I want to do this interview. That’s why I wanna talk about it. I want people to know just because someone is nice to you and just because everyone is saying they’re the best person, it does not make it okay for them to ever make you uncomfortable. Ever.’
It was after the Rio Games when she finally spoke with the FBI, a move she claims left some in the sport angry at both her and her Final Five teammates.
‘There was a table of a lot of people that are very high up in USA Gymnastics that were in the room. And they didn’t come over,’ said Raisman.
‘You know, my teammates and I were all sitting at the table, and they did not come over to say hi to us or to congratulate us.’
Raisman, who would become the first American woman since Dominique Dawes to compete at three Olympic Games should she qualify for Tokyo, later said: ‘All we’ve done is worked really hard. We love the sport. And we were treated like, you know, “We don’t want anything to do with you girls.”‘
She was then asked if she had any concern about what repercussions might arise because she spoke out.
‘You know, I think that’s a very valid point,’ said Raisman.
‘But I think that this, speaking out, and creating positive change so that athletes are safe, is more important than any Olympic medal you could ever win.’
Raisman’s parents said on 60 Minutes that they too were completely caught off guard when they learned about what had happened to their daughter.
‘We were there. But if she’s not knowing that it’s wrong – never in a million years did I ever even think to say, “Hey, when you see the team doctor, is there someone with you?”‘ said her mother Lynn.
She was then asked what she could change if she had the chance to go back in time.
‘I think the most important thing, if anyone takes anything away from this interview is sit down with your kids and explain to them that predators aren’t just strangers,’ said Lynn.
‘They can be highly educated. They can be very well-respected in the community. It could be a family member, it could be a family friend. So, you know, that’s really, the, I mean, if I could go back in time, I would do that.’
Out of the blue: Raisman’s parents said they had no idea the alleged abuse was occurring while speaking to 60 Minutes
Whta a guy: Raisman’s boyfriend voiced his support for her ahead of her 60 Minutes interview airing on CBS
Good gossiP; Blake Lively also posted a rare tweet of support for Raisman and her interviewer
On Today, Raisman said that her interview already empowered one young girl to speak out about her alleged abuser.
‘I actually got a letter 36 hours after I spoke up in August. I was so nervous about speaking up. I spoke out against USA Gymnastics and I got a letter from a 14-year-old girl and she said she read my statements and because of that, she had the courage to tell her mother that her father had been sexually abusing her,’ said Raisman.
‘And he threatened her life at times. I realize that letter is more important to me than any medal I’ve ever won in my life. She changed my life because she made me realize this is the right thing.’
Raisman continued: ‘And if I can help one person, you know, that’s totally what it’s all about.’
And she no longer sees Nassar as a friend.
‘I think he’s a monster. It’s disturbing what he did to me and other people. It’s bigger than just me,’ said Raisman.
‘It’s such a horrific thing to happen. And I stand here with all the other survivors that have been abused by Larry and other people that have been abused by anyone. It’s disgusting.’
It was during the #MeToo campaign last month when Maroney shared her story, claiming Nassar began abusing her when she 13, and that the assaults did not stop until she left the sport just last year at the age of 20.
‘Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving “medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years”,’ Maroney, 21, said of her abuse in a social media post.
‘It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was “treated.” It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and It happened before I won my silver.’
Maroney also detailed what she said was the worst incident back in 2011 during a trip to Tokyo.
She claimed that on the way to the world championship that year Nassar gave her a sleeping pill, and the she awoke to find him performing a ‘treatment’ on her in the hotel.
‘I thought I was going to die that night,’ wrote Maroney.
She was just 15 at the time.
Soon after she shared her story her teammates from the 2012 Games all voiced their support on social media, with Raisman posting a photo of herself and Maroney hugging with a heart emoji.
Raisman also wrote: ”100% support you. SO proud of you and your strength. Love you like a sister!!’