Aly Raisman opened up about how she felt in the courtroom while speaking against Larry Nassar
It takes a lot to speak up against someone who’s hurt you. During Larry Nassar’s trial, gymnast Aly Raisman was just one of the many who gave a statement about how Nassar’s sexual abuse, disguised as “medical treatment,” affected her life. Nassar, who was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, was accused of abusing 160 women throughout his career.
Raisman spoke about the trial with Today‘s Hoda Kotb, admitting that while it’s nice that Nassar got the sentencing he deserved, there’s still a lot to process, noting that “it’s not something where you instantly feel better.”
"We need to hold these organizations accountable...this is bigger than Larry Nassar," the gymnast said.
Raisman stated that her main goal was trying to figure out “how this disaster happened” — since if they brush it away, it may happen again with someone else.
The gymnast went forward with her claims against Nassar in November, and many other gymnasts and athletes followed — including Raisman’s teammates Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas. Raisman delivered her statement against Nassar in court on Friday and said that the abuse stops here.
"Larry, you do realize now that we — this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time — are now a force, and you are nothing," she said. "The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere."
Raisman said that while she was nervous to make her speech, she felt compelled to do it after hearing the brave statements of her fellow survivors.
"In that moment, I blocked out everything," she noted to Kotb, comparing the speech to her televised gymnastic routines. "I forgot that people were watching me. I forgot the media was over there. I forgot that Larry was right there. And I just spoke, and I felt like I really had to be strong. I feel a responsibility."
Even though her speech was excellent, Raisman admitted that she felt physically ill while giving it — which is understandable.
"I will be honest, I was sick," she said. "I almost passed out. I had the worst headache for hours. Even since then, I still don't feel good now. It's hard to put into words, but it makes me literally sick all the stress and the trauma of everything. But for that moment, I had to be strong. But I'm very, very exhausted from it."
Raisman said that she looked at photos of Nassar online to help prepare herself to see him in person again but said that being part of an army of survivors made it a lot better.
We’re so proud of Aly Raisman, and the many other survivors, for speaking up.