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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Believed: A tough but incredibly important listen

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

How did Larry Nassar, an Olympic gymnastics doctor, get away with abusing hundreds of women and girls for two decades? Believed is an inside look at how a team of women won a conviction in one of the largest serial sexual abuse cases in U.S. history. It's a story of survivors finding their power in a cultural moment when people are coming to understand how important that is. It's also an unnerving exploration of how even well-meaning adults can fail to believe.⠀⠀⠀⠀

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

The Good Guy


Investigative reporting


Kate Wells

Sound/production quality:

Very good

Rating/age suitability:

Teen/adult; CW: mentions of rape, sexual assault, language, etc.

Approximate length of episodes:

35 minutes

Curricular ties:


Similar recommended pods:


Podcast Librarian’s Review:

At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this is probably one of the most important podcasts ever made. The world was shocked when the USA Gymnastics governing organization got in hot water over Larry Nassar, the team doctor, being accused of sexually assaulting many gymnasts over the years. Some people would have been quick to write it off as just another fallout of the #metoo movement except that the allegations kept coming in a steady stream. This series interviews several of his victims, most of them gymnasts (but also a woman whose family considered Larry a close friend when she was very young). Meanwhile, many officials of USAG and MSU knew about and were complicit in covering up the allegations against Nassar, neglecting to protect their young athletes and allowing the abuse to continue. The podcast goes chronologically through all the events, from the initial accusations through the trial. Granted, this information is available online now, BUT hearing the victims and their families speak out about the abuse is what makes this podcast really heart-wrenching and memorable. All of the women who spoke out against him were brave to do so, but the whole point is that it should never have gotten to the point where so many gymnasts suffered repeated sexual abuse at the hands of Larry, the man they considered a friend and thought they could trust. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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