Angelina Jolie ‘honoured’ to meet gymnasts who testified about sexual abuse

‘I’m in awe of their courage,’ she wrote in an Instagram post

Kate Ng
Friday 17 September 2021 16:54
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Angelina Jolie ‘in awe’ of U.S. gymnasts who testified before Congress

Angelina Jolie has said she was “honoured” to meet the “brave” gymnasts who testified against a former USA Gymnastics team doctor who was convicted of sexual abuse.

Olympic gold medallists Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman were among the gymnasts who told Congress that the FBI and gymnastics officials turned a “blind eye” to misconduct.

Larry Nassar, who sexually abused and raped hundreds of girls and young women during his 18-year stint as the team doctor, was sentenced to 60 years in prison in 2017.

Jolie met the women during a trip to Washington DC this week, where she visited the White House to discuss legislation to combat violence against women.

The Oscar-winning actor shared a picture on Instagram alongside Maroney, Raisman, Maggie Nichols, Kaylee Lorincz, and Jessica Howard.

Jolie wrote in the caption: “I was honoured to meet with some of the brave US gymnasts who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

“I’m in awe of their courage and commitment to preventing future failures to investigate abuse. As Aly Raisman said in her testimony, ‘Over 100 victims could have been spared the abuse. All we needed was one adult to do the right thing.’

“Sending support and respect to them, and to all who are reliving this trauma so that system reforms can occur.”

She also added the hashtag #StopViolenceAgainstWomen to her caption.

Jolie joined Instagram in August, using her first post to highlight the plight of young women in Afghanistan and quickly gaining more than 10 million followers.

She visited the White House this week to discuss the Violence Against Women Act, a landmark piece of legislation that has been championed by US president Joe Biden.

On Thursday, the gymnasts appeared before a committee that is examining the shortcomings in the FBI’s investigation into Nassar.

Biles, the most decorated Olympic gymnast of all time, told the committee: “I blame Larry Nassar, and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.

“If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe.”

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