Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles got emotional Wednesday discussing former team doctor Larry Nassar but she said she’s “very happy” about the sentence he received for sexually abusing his patients and credited the judge for how she handled his highly publicized hearing.
“It’s very hard for someone to go through what I’ve gone through recently and it’s very hard to talk about,” Biles told TODAY's Hoda Kotb while fighting back tears. “But other than that I think the judge is my hero just because she gave it to him straight and didn’t let him get any power over any of the girls, and letting the girls go and speak was very powerful.”
Biles was referring to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who oversaw Nassar’s sentencing hearing in which more than 150 victims of the disgraced doctor delivered powerful impact statements.
Aquilina last week sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison, telling the 45-year-old Nassar she had “just signed your death warrant.”
"He can’t hurt you anymore,” Kotb told Biles, who said through a tearful smile: "No, he can not."
Biles, 20, also said she was satisfied with the sentence.
“I was very happy. I wish she would have just given him, like, a crazy number, like 3,000 years or something, but other than that, she was a boss and she was absolutely amazing,” she said.
Biles earlier this month added her name to the list of more than 100 athletes who accused Nassar of sexually molesting them under the guise of medical treatment. USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, has been rocked by the scandal and criticized for failing to take action sooner.
Biles, the most decorated American gymnast who won four gold medals in the Rio Games in 2016, said the organization's newly installed president, Kerry Perry, recently flew down for a visit “to introduce herself” but the two didn’t discuss Nassar in their talk.
Outside of that visit, USA Gymnastics nor the U.S. Olympic Committee has reached out to her.
“As one of their top athletes advocating for only for gymnastics but Olympics and all of that, I think it’s kind of crazy, but hopefully they’ll reach out,” said Biles, who already has her eye set on the 2020 games in Tokyo.
In addition to training, Simone is about to start working on her college degree through the University of the People, a non-profit institution for which she is a spokeswoman. She said she will be going to the school with her mom, who plans to get an MBA. Biles set up a scholarship fund to help financially struggling students at the school pay dues.
"Some people don't think they have the opportunity to go to school and so I'm very excited about it," she said about the scholarship.
Biles also has a Lifetime movie that will debut this weekend based on her book, "Courage to Soar." She described the actress who plays her as "my twin" and said the two still "talk all the time." The movie will air on Lifetime on Saturday evening.
Biles also dished about the new love in her life, fellow gymnast Stacey Ervin.
"He is the best boyfriend I could ever ask for," she gushed. "He is so sweet, complete gentleman. Opens my door, car door, everything."
Biles said Ervin also "passed the mom and dad test, but they won't tell you that!"