Four time Olympic winner, Simon Biles, says she was abused by Larry Nassar

Simon Biles, star of the Rio Olympic Games, claimed in a Twitter post that she too was abused by Larry Nassar, the former team doctor of USA Gymnastics (USAG), on the eve before his sentencing for sexually abusing girls under his care.

“I, too, am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” said the 20 year old in a post with the hashtag #MeToo. Biles had joined the US Olympic gymnastics team in 2016 and won the individual all-around for the year.

 The 54-year-old, who was part of the USAG programme from the 1980s until July 2015, was jailed in December for a period of 60 years on three counts related to possession of child sex abuse images on his computer. His case was part of a scandal involving the USAG president, Steve Penny, accused of failing to notify authorities about the abuse allegations.

More than 140 female athletes, including three former US Olympians -Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney- have filed civil lawsuits against the doctor for sexually abusing them under the guise of treatment. Many have said that they were forced into silence by powerful authorities including the USAG.

The group however released a statement saying, “USA Gymnastics is absolutely heartbroken, sorry and angry that Simone Biles or any of our athletes have been harmed by the horrific acts of Larry Nassar.”

Source: CNN, BBC

Stan Lee accused of sexual harassment; denies claims

Creator of Marvel comics, Stan Lee, has been accused of sexually harassing and groping nurses who worked for him. Lee, however, has outrightly denied such claims.

According to a Daily Mail report, the 95-years-old groped the women and asked them to perform oral sex. A representative from the nursing company stated that many nurses have complained about Lee. The company ceased working for him at the end of 2016.

As a result of these accusations, there is now an ongoing legal dispute between the care company and him.

Hinting that this was an attempt at blackmail, the Spider-Man creator issued a statement through his lawyer, Tom Lallas, that said, “Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character”.

Backing the statement, a representative for the new nursing company caring for Lee declared that he has been polite, kind and respectful.

Best known for creating the Marvel comic book series, his creative insights have been immortalized through the film series his books have turned into. His wife of 69 years passed away in 2017 at the age of 93.

Sources: Daily Mail , The Independent

75th Golden Globes arrive in style, celebrities show solidarity for women’s rights

One of the most prestigious award ceremonies in Hollywood, the 75th Golden Globe Awards was a star-studded night celebrating and honouring the best of the industry. Seth Meyers was the official host for the event. This year’s big winner was “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, a riveting drama, that swept away all the major titles including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Frances McDormand), and Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell). Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ was also a show stealer winning two significant titles which included Best Motion Picture – Comedy and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy (Saoirse Ronan), reports Reuters.

On the Television front, critically acclaimed mini-series ‘Big Little Lies’ won four major awards- best limited TV series or TV movie, best actress in a TV series, best TV supporting actor and best supporting actress.  The major theme of the ceremony was support for the #metoo movement with almost all female celebrities showing up in all black ensembles to display their solidarity, according to ABC News. Powerful speeches in support of women’s rights were given by renowned figures like Oprah Winfrey who declared emphatically “I am inspired by all the women that felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share our stories. This year, we become the story.” Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman who won big at the ceremony also voiced their opinion on injustices against women in their speech.

The night was filled with jokes and snide remarks on the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the sexual harassment accusations that took Hollywood by storm last year. Seth Meyer’s’ opening line “Good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen” set the tone for the rest of the event where the major focus remained on women fighting back and staying resilient in the face of years of harassment. Kicking off the major awards for the season, this year’s Golden Globes were a fairly politicised affair.

 

Sources: Reuters, ABC News 

 

Second complaint against Pachauri arises, pressure builds

TERI’s executive Vice Chariman RK Pachauri is facing the heat as yet another complaint accusing him of sexual harassment resurfaced on Wednesday. This comes when Pachauri is scheduled to a court hearing at Delhi regarding his anticipatory bail today.

Pachauri, former UN Climate panel chief was made the executive Vice Chariman of TERI two days ago.  He was compelled to quit as chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after a co-worker accused him of sexual harassment a year ago.

The second alleged victim lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police after she heard of Pachauri’s elevation in ranks within the institute. She had quit the institute in 2003 after the police refused to take action against Pachauri on her previous complaint.

The complainant wrote an open letter, in which she says it ‘was most disturbing to know of Pachauri’s promotion’. She described the ordeal she faced during her stint at TERI through a five-page statement that was issued through her lawyers. She quoted various instances of Pachauri’s over-stepping behaviour, alleging his unwanted curiosity in her personal affairs, and suggestive remarks and comments.

A group of students and alumni at TERI have refused to receive their degrees from Pachauri as a mark of protest against his promotion. The group also started an online petition to garner support for the removal of Pachauri from the institute.

Sources: HTLive Mint