Alabama sophomore gymnast Bailie Key and former gymnast Amanda Jetter shared Tuesday on Twitter they were sexually abused by former longtime USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar.
Key is from Montgomery, Texas. A five-year member of the U.S. National Team, the 19-year-old was coached by Kim and Chris Burdette at Texas Dreams Gymnastics before coming to Alabama.
“After staying private about this for so long, I have decided that it is best for me to come out so I can heal completely,” Key wrote. “Today I stand alongside the many women who have had the courage to speak out.
“I too was sexually abused by Larry Nassar.
“Throughout my elite gymnastics career, I constantly battled back injuries. I sent just about every X-ray, MRI, and CT scan I had on my back to Larry because he was ‘the best.’ I trusted him and it truly seemed like he was on my side. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The Facebook messages, the texts, and the occasional phone calls I got from him were all just an act.
“The words ‘big girl’ massage have stuck with me for a very long time. That is what he called it when speaking to me. The ‘treatment’ I received from Larry was completely inappropriate and not okay. I used to be so mad at myself. I thought it was my fault for a long time because I did not stand up for myself. As I have healed and processed what actually happened, I have learned that it was not my fault.
“I am sharing my story because I have held onto it for so long and I am ready to let it go so I can move on. Yes, something terrible happened, but it does not define me. I know that it has somehow made me a stronger person today. I also believe in forgiveness and as hard as it was, I have forgiven Larry. Thank you to my family, coaches and friends for standing by my side and always be there for me no matter what.
“I have so much more ahead of me that I want to accomplish in life and I will not let Larry stop me anymore.”
Jetter, who’s originally from Milford, Ohio, competed for Alabama from 2013-17. The 23-year-old was a member of the U.S. National Team for four years and was coached by Mary Lee Tracy at Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy prior to joining the Crimson Tide.
Tracy was actually USA Gymnastics’ elite development coordinator for three days before being asked to resign on Aug. 31 after trying to contact Aly Raisman, who has been one of Nassar’s most outspoken victims and is suing the federation. Tracy had also defended Nassar in the past.
“It is very hard to speak up and tell everyone your story, especially when cruel, evil people are in the sport I love so much,” Jetter wrote. “I, too, am a victim of Larry Nassar. One time is too many and I feel for EVERYONE who has been affected by him.
“Thank you for the love and support. It is time to step out and not keep this hidden any longer.”
Nassar pleaded guilty of molesting women and girls under the guise of medical treatment. It wasn’t until 2016 accusations became public, starting with former gymnast Rachael Denhollander sharing her story, but allegations go back more than two decades.
A Michigan judge sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison back in January for three counts of criminal sexual conduct. She told him, “I just signed your death warrant.” The sentencing came after 156 women and girls gave victim-impact statements.
Since Denhollander, more than 350 women and girls have come out as victims, including Olympians Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian and Raisman.
Victims are still coming forward.