Aly Raisman Says Meeting Angelina Jolie Was 'Light Moment' on Difficult Day of Senate Testimony

Aly Raisman Says Meeting Angelina Jolie Was 'Light Moment' on Difficult Day of Senate Testimony
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Aly Raisman says it was "incredible" having Angelia Jolie in attendance at the U.S. Senate hearing regarding the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.

In an interview with Kay Adams, host of PEOPLE (The TV Show!), the Olympic gold medalist, 27, confesses to being a tad starstruck when she first learned that the Academy Award winner, 46, wanted to meet her and the other Team USA gymnasts that testified on Sept. 17.

"I was like, 'What is my life that Angelina Jolie is watching our testimony and wants to meet us?' " recalls Raisman, whose Lifetime special From Darkness to Light premieres Friday. "In a very intense day, it was a nice light moment."

U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector Generals Report on the FBIs Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation, in Hart Building on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector Generals Report on the FBIs Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation, in Hart Building on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Getty

Raisman and fellow gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles, Maggie Nichols, Kaylee Lorincz, and Jessica Howard shared their stories at last Friday's hearing. Little did they know, however, that Jolie had been watching.

RELATED: Aly Raisman on the 'Power' of Supporting Those Who've Been Abused: 'Most Survivors Don't Get That'

Raisman tells PEOPLE (The TV Show!) that the group had just finished testifying when someone pulled her mother Lynn Raisman aside to tell her that Jolie had viewed their testimony and was interested in meeting the group: "We obviously said yes."

After meeting, the group posed for a photo. Jolie shared the image on her Instagram page alongside an encouraging message for the girls.

McKayla Maroney Instagram
McKayla Maroney Instagram

McKayla Maroney/Instagram Angelina Jolie (black shirt and white skirt) with the gymnasts

"I was honored to meet with some of the brave US gymnasts who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday," the actress wrote. "I'm in awe of their courage and commitment to preventing future failures to investigate abuse."

RELATED: Angelina Jolie Says She Was 'Honored' to Meet McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman: 'I'm in Awe of Their Courage'

"As Aly Raisman said in her testimony, 'Over 100 victims could have been spared the abuse. All we needed was one adult to do the right thing.' Sending support and respect to them, and to all who are reliving this trauma so that system reforms can occur," she added.

Raisman tells PEOPLE (The TV Show!) that she feels "very validated" and "very supported" in wake of her testimony. She hopes that those subjected to Nassar's abuse will get some answers.

U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector Generals Report on the FBIs Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation, in Hart Building on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector Generals Report on the FBIs Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation, in Hart Building on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Getty

"I think it's going to take some time, but I felt things were a little bit different in a positive way last week. So hopefully we're going in the right direction."

RELATED: McKayla Maroney Says Reliving Trauma from Larry Nassar Abuse Made Her Want to 'Become Someone Else'

In the meantime, Raisman is looking forward to teaming up with Jolie in an effort to combat violence against women of all kinds.

"And hopefully we can use both of our platforms to work together, to fight, to end abuse and end violence for women," she says.

Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light premieres Friday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

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