Gabby Douglas has won the hearts of millions by winning Olympic gold, yet had to overcome controversy to complete her 2012 Olympic bid. In addition to the furious online online battle over her hair (pitting supporters of Douglas’ style against those who believe she should have sported tightly tamed locks), the champion has had to contend with difficult revelations about her family.
Gossip site TMZ brought to light that Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. It is now being reported that the superstar athlete blames her father for her fiscal woes.
Douglas has shared with reporters that she believes her dad is partly responsibly for her mother’s financial insolvency due to his failure to pay child support, and other forms of abandonment.
“It was really hard for us growing up — my dad had left us, so he wasn’t really in the picture anymore,” Douglas said earlier this week. “So my mom had to front all these bills. My dad didn’t really pay the child support. He was short [on money]. It was definitely hard on her part, and she had to take care of me and the rest of my siblings.”
Her father, Timothy Douglas, is an Air Force staff sergeant who has served in Afghanistan. Gabby has not seen her father since 2010, although he has been close by as she rendered her routines in the Games.
“Timothy Douglas,” the Post reports, “is in London for the Olympics but has not been able to watch his daughter’s stunning performances because she did not get him or her grandparents tickets, a source told the newspaper.”
Also according to the Post, Douglas’ father was arrested earlier this year for child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He entered the plea of no contest to the charges on May 9 in Virginia.
“Little is known about Mr[.] Douglas’ life apart from his estranged wife Natalie Hawkins,” states British paper the Dail Mail about this latest insight regarding Gabby’s father, “and since the documents are sealed, the identity of his alleged victim might be related to a family friend or even a new girlfriend.”
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.