Simone Biles defends husband Jonathan Owens after massive backlash

‘And if anybody’s met him, they know he’s the sweetest guy and will do anything for anybody,’ Biles says about her partner

Amber Raiken
New York
Thursday 18 April 2024 23:51 BST
Simone Biles & Mental Health

Simone Biles has come to her husband Jonathan Owens’ defence, months after he made headlines for his comments about the start of their relationship.

The 27-year-old gymnast spoke candidly about her partner, who she married in April 2023, during Wednesday’s episode of Alex Cooper’sCall Her Daddy podcast. In December, the Green Bay Packers star first sparked outrage when he recalled not knowing “who [Biles] was” when they first met by matching on a dating app in 2020. During that appearance on The Pivot podcast, alongside his wife, he also called himself the “catch” in their relationship.

While speaking to Cooper on Call Her Daddy, the Olympian addressed how she found amusement in the viral reaction towards her husband’s comments, recalling how fans told her to “divorce him”. However, she didn’t necessarily feel that way for long, as she then pointed out how hurt she was over the criticism and wanted to defend her husband.

“I thought it was hilarious at first, and then they hurt my feelings,” she said. “And then one night, I broke down and I’m like:‘Why are you guys talking about my husband like this? Like, you don’t know him. You don’t know who he is. And if anybody’s met him, they know he’s the sweetest guy and will do anything for anybody.’”

After emphasising that the backlash toward her husband “really hurt,” she acknowledged that she’s extremely protective of her loved ones, despite the fact that she’s used to being scrutinised in the public eye.

“Because for me, it’s like: ‘Talk about me all you want, but don’t come for my family, never,’” she said. “Because I’ve been in the limelight long enough where I can brush things off, have my little powwow about it. You’re not going to know I cried about it, but I be crying about some stuff. But I only cry about it because I can’t clap back. Just know that.”

When Cooper asked her why she couldn’t respond to some of these critics, Biles quipped: “I’d hurt their feelings.”

In December, Owens first opened up about connecting with Biles on the dating app Raya, claiming that he didn’t know who she was when he saw her profile, since he “never really paid attention to gymnastics”. He then admitted that once he saw her Instagram profile, he realised that Biles was a big deal.

“The first thing that I saw was that she just had a bunch of [Instagram] followers. So in my mind, I’m like: ‘Okay, she’s gotta be good,’” he said during The Pivot podcast.

The NFL safety explained that he wasn’t aware of Biles because when she hit the scene, he was knee-deep in college football training all summer. “When she won the Olympics, I was in college and we didn’t have NBC, we didn’t have Olympics channels, and we were in [training] camp [in] late July, early August,” he said. “So I’m not paying attention. I never would’ve had a moment where I would’ve watched [her compete].”

After the podcast episode was released in December, Owens responded to the backlash on Instagram. Along with sharing photos of the couple on their wedding day and enjoying their everyday life, he captioned the post: “Unbothered… Just know we locked in over here.”

Biles also responded to a post on X, formerly know as Twitter, on 23 December about her husband’s comments, writing: “Are y’all done yet?”

As explained by Owens in the podcast episode, Biles first messaged him on Raya. They began to frequently text one another, before meeting in person for the first time three days later. He added that at first, he struggled with the idea of committing, but eventually came around because of how different his connection with Biles felt.

“I’m like: ‘It’s kinda early.’ But you know, it happens when you least expect it. When we hung out, we just hit it off instantly,” he said. “Laughed the whole night.”

The couple officially tied the knot at the Harris County Courthouse in Houston on 22 April 2023. A few weeks later, they hosted family and friends at a lavish second wedding ceremony in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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