The 2016 Rio Olympic games have made Simone Biles a household name. The 19-year-old, who is one of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team’s “Final Five,” has been called the world’s best gymnast. Already, Biles has won the most gold medals of any competitor in the world championships, with the distinction of being the first woman to win three consecutive all-around titles.
But, Biles’ life has not always been as effortless as her routines appear on the international stage.
In 2000, Biles’ mother Shannon gave up custody of her daughter, Simone, who was just 3 years old at the time, as well as her younger sister Adria. The children were raised by their grandparents, Ron and Nellie Biles. Shanon Biles, now 44, has been arrested at least 20 times over the past two decades for various crimes including assault, theft, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence and drug possession, Radar Online reports.
Ron and Nellie Biles have publicly discussed Shannon Biles’ struggles and their primary care of Simone in interviews, saying that Simone Biles and her mother are estranged.
But, Shannon is now giving her side of the story in a video she made and released to TMZ Sports on Tuesday.
“I feel like they’re defaming my character because I know it happened, and I was struggling back then. But I’ve gotten better, life goes on and that’s my past,” she said. “It should be left there.”
According to Shannon, over the years she has been working on making amends with her daughter.
“When we do talk it is briefly. I want to say maybe every three months, when I call, when she calls. We go on vacation together.”
“I just want to say that I love you, Simone,” said Shannon Biles, signing off. “I’m so proud of you.”