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Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons’ family is at the center of disturbing allegations.
His sister Olivia Simmons is alleging she was molested as a child by the siblings’ half brother, Sean Tribe — who is also the 76ers star’s manager. Tribe is believed to have no business relation to Simmons’ agency, Klutch Sports Group, and his agent Rich Paul.
Olivia went public with her allegations, which she said has resulted in years of post traumatic stress disorder, in a series of tweets beginning on April 6. Olivia stated that the alleged molestation started when she was just 3 years old, and that her mother, Julie Simmons (a sexual abuse survivor, according to her daughter) was allegedly aware. Julie is a main fixture at her son’s games in Philadelphia.
“I was crying out for help I was silenced,” Olivia wrote on Twitter. In separate tweets, Simmons, who called herself a fearless survivor wrote, “These are not accusations. This is my truth.” Simmons also claimed she has “medical records” to further prove she was allegedly molested as a child.
Tribe has since responded to Simmons on Twitter and Instagram. Four days after Simmons’ admissions, Tribe released a lengthy statement, denying the sexual abuse allegations in a statement he said was from the lawyer for his family.
“We are deeply saddened by the false allegations made on Twitter by our daughter and sister, Olivia Simmons, against her brother,” the statement, which allegedly came from the Simmons family, read. “As a family we are devastated that we even have to release this stament. The allegations she made never happened. Her brother and entire family deny them.”
The statement continued in part: “We want to be clear that we fully support women who are brave enough to speak up because they have been victims of abuse and trauma and they should be empowered to do that. But that is not what happened here.”
On the same day Tribe released the statement, Simmons took to Twitter to stand by her initial accusations, as well as question the credibility of the statement — which Tribe claimed was written by “lawyers from my family.”
“I just got off the phone with my father [Dave Simmons] and asked why he would make such a statement, he said ‘what statement’. That’s the problem my dad isn’t his dad but he sure does like to use OUR last name for false statements,” Olivia wrote.
“In short Sean is trying to FORCE me to post a FALSE statement saying I am lying,” Olivia tweeted after Tribe shared the statement.
Olivia also clarified that her and Ben’s father, Dave — who played 13 seasons in the Australian National Basketball League — “is by my side” through the situation.
Olivia went on to claim that Tribe’s statement “was written by Sean Tribe who is NOT a Simmons nor is it signed by a Simmons. So let’s start and end there.” She said that Tribe’s “father’s name is Philip Tribe” and “my fathers name is David Simmons.”
The 29-year-old continued, “I am many things but a liar is not one of them. I’m never going to stop speaking because what happened to me changed me, the way I think and how safe I feel around certain people.”
Additionally, Olivia tweeted about Tribe, “I want people to know no amount of fame, money or gossip can take away the pain of thinking you deserved your abuse. I didn’t. You didn’t. Time to end the cycle.”
Noting that “the truth shall set you free,” Simmons vowed that she will tell her full side of the story “when I’m ready.”
As for Ben? The 24-year-old star point guard — who’s having a stellar season with the Sixers, averaging 15 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game — has not publicly addressed his sister’s allegations.
Simmons, who’s become a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, surprised Tribe with a new car for his birthday back in March. The Melbourne-born athlete took to Instagram Live to share the news with Tribe, who cried over the generous gesture.
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