THREE-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL WINNING GYMNAST ALY RAISMAN SAYS SHE WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY THE U.S. NATIONAL TEAM DOCTOR, THIS SUNDAY ON “60 MINUTES”
Raisman Says She Spoke to FBI Investigators after Rio Olympics
One of America’s biggest Olympic stars has come forward to accuse the former U.S. women’s gymnastics team doctor of sexual abuse. Aly Raisman, who won six medals, three of them gold, for the U.S. at the last two Olympic Summer Games, says she was sexually abused by Dr. Larry Nassar. Raisman tells her story to Dr. Jon LaPook for a 60 MINUTES report to be broadcast Sunday, Nov. 12 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Raisman, 23, says she was first treated by Dr. Nassar when she was 15. She talks about her experiences in a new book called Fierce. It’s the story of a girl who dreamed of going to the Olympics and realized her goal, but it also includes new insights into a scandal that goes to the highest level of Raisman’s sport.
Dr. Nassar, who worked with the U.S. women’s national gymnastics teams for more than two decades, is now in jail. He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges but not guilty to charges of sexual assault. More than 130 women, many of them former athletes, have filed civil lawsuits alleging that Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of treating them for hip, back and other athletic injuries. Raisman tells 60 MINUTES that after the Rio Olympics she spoke to FBI investigators about Dr. Nassar.
Aly Raisman is the most prominent athlete to come forward so far about Nassar. She is calling for major changes at USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for her sport.
Raisman says a lot of people have asked her why Nassar’s accusers didn’t speak up sooner.
RAISMAN: Why are we looking at why didn’t the girls speak up? Why not look at what about the culture? What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?
JON LAPOOK: You’re angry.
RAISMAN: I am angry. I’m really upset because it’s been – I care a lot, you know, when I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is, I just – I can’t – every time I look at them, every time I see them smiling, I just think-- I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this.
In a statement to 60 MINUTES, USA Gymnastics said it has made major changes since the Nassar scandal broke. The organization says it recently adopted a new “safe sport policy” that requires “mandatory reporting” of suspicions of sexual abuse and also sets standards to “prevent inappropriate interaction” between athletes and adults.
“USA gymnastics is very sorry that any athlete has been harmed…” the statement says, “…we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.”
“60 MINUTES” LISTINGS FOR SUNDAY, NOV. 12, 2017
FRIENDLY FIRE – Three former U.S. soldiers, including two Green Berets, dispute the official report that blames human error for a friendly fire accident that killed six others on a secret mission in Afghanistan. The former soldiers speak in their first interviews to Bill Whitaker. Howard L. Rosenberg is the producer. THIS IS A DOUBLE-LENGTH SEGMENT
ALY RAISMAN – Three-time Olympic Gold Medal winning gymnast Aly Raisman is interviewed by Dr. Jon LaPook. Andy Court is the producer.
IN FIRST INTERVIEWS, U.S. SOLDIERS DISPUTE FRIENDLY FIRE REPORT THAT BLAMES HUMAN ERROR BUT DOWNPLAYS THE ROLE OF AIRCRAFT THAT COULD MISTAKENLY KILL MORE, ON THIS SUNDAY’S “60 MINUTES”
L-R: Derrick Anderson, Brandon Branch, Henry Montalbano
“60 Minutes” Gets Classified Report on Deadliest Friendly Fire Incident with U.S. Fatalities in Afghan War and Broadcasts the First Eyewitness Accounts
Three former U.S. soldiers dispute the official investigative report that blames human error for a friendly fire accident that killed six others, including two Green Berets, on a secret mission in Afghanistan. In the soldiers’ first interviews, they tell Bill Whitaker that a technical limitation of the aircraft sent to their aid was mostly to blame for the war’s deadliest friendly fire incident. They warn more could die if the aircraft’s targeting system isn’t changed. Whitaker’s report, a three-year investigation in which 60 MINUTES obtained the classified report of the accident, will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Nov. 12 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
In June 2014, five Americans and an Afghan soldier died when an Air Force B-1 bomber dropped two 500-pound bombs on them during a nighttime firefight. U.S. soldiers wore infrared strobe lights on their helmets to distinguish them from the enemy fighters. Air crews that fly low in support operations can see the soldiers’ strobes through night-vision goggles from the cockpit. On this particular mission, an Air Force B-1 was sent to the aid of the soldiers under attack by Taliban fighters. But the bomber was unable to see the soldiers’ strobes.
“We thought it could,” says Derrick Anderson, a decorated former Green Beret captain and veteran of more than 80 combat patrols in Afghanistan. The classified report obtained by 60 MINUTES blames Anderson, commander of a 10-man “A-Team” for misidentifying his teammates as the enemy when he called for the airstrike. It says, in part, “though this was a challenging set of circumstances, had the team executed standard tactics, techniques and procedures and communicated effectively, this incident was avoidable.” Anderson responded, “I disagree with that statement.”
Killed by the bombs were Green Beret Staff Sergeants Scott Studenmund and Jason McDonald, Private First Class Aaron Toppen, Specialist Justin Helton, Corporal Justin Clouse and Afghan National Army Sergeant Gulbuddin Sakhi. “My gut dropped. I just felt something sink to the bottom of my stomach, and I was like, ‘No…This isn’t happening,’” recalls Anderson, whose career with the Green Berets was effectively ended by the report’s criticism of his actions. He has left the Special Forces.
The classified report also said the fatal airstrike was driven by a “false sense of urgency.” But former Army National Guard medic Staff Sergeant Brandon Branch, who gave first aid to a victim, disagrees. “They can call it that, but they weren’t there.”
Henry Montalbano, the Green Beret team’s former communications sergeant, says the report doesn’t fully address the “root cause of the friendly fire incident…There’s an aircraft carrying out close air support missions that can’t detect the common marking mechanism at nighttime. It’s dangerous to use an aircraft that’s incapable of picking up infrared strobes,” he tells Whitaker. Montalbano has since left the Green Berets.
Whitaker also interviewed Occidental College professor Woody Studenmund, the Gold Star parent of Green Beret Staff Sgt. Scott Studenmund, who was killed in the bombing. Studenmund also criticizes the use of the B-1 bomber, saying, “When we send our soldiers into battle, it’s wrong to have them using a weapons system which isn’t capable of doing what it’s supposed to be doing. It isn’t murder, but it’s close.”
More than three years after the incident, the soldiers interviewed by 60 MINUTES fear a similar mistake will happen again. Says Anderson, “We still have U.S. service members throughout the world in harm’s way that are going to rely on this aircraft again. And that’s what disheartens me. That’s what scares me. That’s what I'm mad about.”
Anderson tells Whitaker he and his men did nothing to cause the deaths of their fellow soldiers. “At the end of the day there’s nothing myself or my team sergeant did that day or failed to do that day that caused the incident to happen…We made the decisions that we thought were best at the time on the ground for the guys that were being shot at.”