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Simone Biles reveals she slept "all the time" to cope with sexual abuse by Larry Nassar

Simone Biles speaks on abuse
Simone Biles revealed she is a victim of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse 01:50

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles opened up to actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, saying she feels  "stronger" after coming forward as a sexual abuse survivor of disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, even though it was initially difficult to confront. Biles spoke to Chopra Jonas on her half-hour YouTube special, "If I Could Tell You Just One Thing," that aired exclusively on Chopra Jonas' YouTube channel Wednesday. 

When asked how the four-time Olympic gold medalist dealt with all the pressure of her career and life, she told Chopra Jonas, "therapy is everything."

"I'm still going through things in everyday life that I still have to go to therapy for," expanding that it all goes back to the sexual abuse she suffered in her childhood, the 22-year-old  said. 

Biles said she feared the world would see her as a sexual abuse survivor first and not the incredible athlete she continues to be. Biles won four gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games. 

"I was like, 'No, I'm not willing to put that out there for the world to see. They're not gonna see me as Simone the gymnast, they're gonna see Simone as the sexual abuse survivor,'" Biles said. "And so I denied it, and I buried it."

The athlete explained that even after a friend told her she was sexually abused, she didn't fully come to terms with it.

"There was a time I asked my friend, and I called her and I asked her the definition of 'sexually abused.' Because, you know, some of my other friends they had had it worse than me. And they're like, 'No if he did this' — and I told her. She said, 'If he did that and that, you've been sexually abused,' " she explained to Chopra. Despite her friend's assurance, Biles said she "kind of brushed it off."

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing by Priyanka Chopra on YouTube

The abuse manifested in depression for the athlete, she explained, "I, like, never left my room. I was sleeping all the time and I told like one of my lawyers, I said, 'I sleep all the time because it's the closest thing to death.'"

Eventually, the superstar said she told her mother first. "I had just read the story about my friend coming out and I was bawling and I called my mom and then I told her," she said. "We had detectives come and stuff like that. That was the moment I realized..."

Biles publicly came forward to accuse Nassar of molesting her in a tweet in January 2018, writing, "please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper." 

Hundreds of women and girls, including Olympians Aly RaismanMcKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas, have accused Nassar of sexually assaulting them during his work with campus athletes and many young gymnasts at his Michigan State office and for USA Gymnastics. Nassar, is already assured of spending the rest of his life in prison, after being sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in January 2018.

While Biles explained her abuse was difficult to confront, she told Chopra Jonas she feels "stronger" for coming forward. "It wasn't easy, but I feel like I'm a stronger woman today and I feel like telling my story has helped younger girls," she said.

Chopra's YouTube Originals special also featured actress Awkwafina and fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg. 

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