Aly Raisman Supports Gabby Douglas Amid Sexual Abuse Claims: 'I Applaud Your Bravery'
Aly Raisman tweeted a supportive message to her former teammate Gabby Douglas after Douglas alleged that she too was sexually abused by Larry Nassar
“I applaud your bravery @gabrielledoug,” Raisman, 23, tweeted on Wednesday. “I support you.”
The tweet comes less than a day after Douglas alleged in a statement posted to Instagram that she was abused by Nassar as well. Douglas faced backlash after she criticized Raisman for speaking out on Instagram about the victim shaming many women endure for coming forward about their own attacks, and stating that women should “dress modestly.”
“I didn’t view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you,” Douglas shared in a statement on Instagram Tuesday. “It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar.
“I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful. I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them.”
Along with Raisman, USA Gymnastics released a statement standing by Douglas.
“We admire the strength shown by Gabby and her teammates in speaking out publicly to hold a predator accountable,” officials wrote on Twitter.
The three-time Olympic gold medalist shared an apology on Twitter Friday following her comment toward Raisman, writing, “i didn’t correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don’t stand alongside my teammates.”
She further clarified her comments in her statement Wednesday, writing: “I understand that many of you didn’t know what I was dealing with, but it is important to me that you at least know this. I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form! I will also never support attacking or bullying anyone on social media or anywhere else.
“Please forgive me for not being more responsible with how I handled the situation. To every other individual that commented to or about me hatefully, I apologize that I let you down too. I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, strength, being courageous and doing good instead of evil. I have learned from this and I’m determined to be even better.”
More than 100 women, including several former athletes, have accused Nassar of sexual abuse.
He was fired by USA Gymnastics in 2015 after working with the organization since 1986, and had been its national medical coordinator since 1996, The New York Times reported. He was fired from Michigan State last year.
Nassar is due in court Wednesday morning, where he is expected to plead guilty to numerous charges related to sexually abusing girls under 16, according to The Detroit News and other outlets.
Lawyers for Nassar declined PEOPLE’s request for comment.