A former figure skating partner of John Coughlin — a champion who— says he abused her and at least nine other women. Coughlin's death came a day after he was suspended from the sport over allegations of abuse.
"I'm sorry but john hurt at least 10 people including me," Bridget Namiotka wrote in a Facebook post Sunday responding to a messaging supporting Coughlin. "He sexually abused me for 2 years. Nobody innocent hangs themself."
Namiotka also accused Coughlin of "grooming" women he abused. She told his supporters to think about "all the girls he hurt."
"Grooming happens. It happened to me and he hurt a lot of girls. Think about the victims," she wrote.
Namiotka is the first woman to publicly accuse Coughlin of abuse.
Coughlin's former representative, Tara Modlin, declined to comment to CBS News.
In a text message to USA Today, Modlin said, "It seems that you want me to comment on an unstable persons (sic) Facebook comment - I don't really understand your question... my suggestion is to call some of his other partners."
John Manly, an attorney representing Namiotka and two other women who said Coughlin abused them as minors, could not be reached for comment. He told The Washington Post that his clients were being "accused of killing" Coughlin, and Namiotka felt compelled to speak up after seeing a "maelstrom of support for the perpetrator from people who know literally nothing about the case."
U.S. Figure Skating released a statement about abuse that made no direct mention of Coughlin or Namiotka. "We fully support all victims of sexual abuse and misconduct and encourage anyone who either has been abused or suspects abuse or misconduct to report it to local law enforcement, the U.S. Center for SafeSport or U.S. Figure Skating. We condemn any and all acts of bullying and shaming of those who share their story," part of the statement said.
Coughlin, 33, paired with Namiotka from 2004 to 2007. She was 14 to 17 years old at the time, and he was 18 to 21. Coughlin won a U.S. pairs title in 2011 with Caitlin Yankowskas, and a second title with Caydee Denney a year later.
His suicide came as he faced scrutiny and suspensions for unspecified abuse allegations. The U.S. Center for SafeSport, a non-profit that aims to prevent abuse in Olympic sports, restricted Coughlin's figure skating participation in December after announcing it was looking into a matter involving him. The day before his death, SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating both said Coughlin would be suspended. The details of the allegations against Coughlin were not publicly known when he died.
Days before his death, Coughlin told USA Today the allegations against him were "unfounded" and that he was unable to publicly comment on them. SafeSport rules do not prohibit someone from discussing their case.
SafeSport said after Coughlin's death that it would not continue its investigation of him, but said it had found evidence that figure skating had "allowed grooming and abuse to go unchecked for too long."