We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
USA Gymnastics Doctor Sentenced to Up to 175 Years in Prison for Sexual Crimes
This Wednesday Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, was sentenced to forty to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to ten counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault in two Michigan courts. Leading up to Nassar’s sentencing, the world listened to the heartbreaking testimonies of more than 150 women and girls who were subjected to Nassar’s abuse. “I just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said during Nassar’s sentencing. But Nassar’s life sentence is not justice enough for the victims. MSU also announced Wednesday that, after receiving criticism from victims for the university’s failure to respond to reports of abuse, President Lou Anna Simon has offered her resignation.
“To the survivors, I can never say enough that I am so sorry that a trusted, renowned physician was really such an evil, evil person who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment . . .” Simon said in her statement. “. . . As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable. As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger.”
Amidst the chorus of voices being heard in Hollywood, it’s gratifying to know that many of the young gymnasts who have been silent for so long are finally being heard and that their tormentor has received just retribution. —Monica Gabriel Marshall
Oscar Nominations Are In—and James Franco Is Out
On Tuesday, Hollywood’s nominees for 2018 top honors were announced. After a feisty Golden Globes and a few weeks in the interim where the likes of James Franco and Aziz Ansari (both Globe winners) were accused of sexual assault, the Oscars pleasantly surprised us. Franco (The Disaster Artist) was excluded from the best actor category—a move thought to be the direct result of the allegations against him, which made a lot of people happy.
Meanwhile, women, having always had a place at the table in women-only categories, were better represented in the traditionally male-dominated ones. Greta Gerwig was nominated for best original screenplay and director for her standout coming-of-age film, Lady Bird. The impactful mother-daughter drama was also nominated for best picture. Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for cinematography (Mudbound). The best picture nominees are Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. —Megan Madden
Everyone Is Freaking Out Over IKEA’s New ‘Relationship Hack’
Sleeping in the same bed until death do you part may seem like a romantic bonus of marital bliss, but talk to any long-term married couple: sometimes it ain’t easy. From snoring to differing bedtime rituals to an ongoing tug-of-war with the bedsheets, it can be really tempting to escape to the couch in an exhausted surrender. IKEA is trying to remedy at least one of these major co-sleeping issues with its new blanket: the “TOG-ether bundle.” This cuddly-sounding product is essentially a pack of matching smaller duvets that allows couples to choose their own level of insulation, so they can sleep together but in the comfort of their own temperature.
Right now this is only being sold in the U.K., but if you want to get ahead of this IKEA hack, you could always buy matching duvets from any brand. (Let us know how it works!) —Maria Walley
Meryl Streep Joins ‘BLL’ Cast for Season 2
Nicole, Reese, Laura, Shailene, Zoë, and . . . Meryl! As if the cast of Big Little Lies couldn’t get any more star-studded, well, it just did. The queen of Hollywood, Meryl Streep, is on board to play Celeste’s (Kidman) mother-in-law who will come to the scandalous yet sleepy town of Monterrey searching for answers as to her son’s death. After a prosperous awards season, the show will no doubt deliver some major drama with its second season. Of season two, HBO has said the show will “explore the malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage, and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode . . . the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.” Unfortunately, we won’t get to view it until 2019. —Megan Madden
Hold Your Loved Ones: Another Violent High School Shooting
Wrapped up in crime scene tape, cameras, tears, and prayers, a distraught community of Marshall County, Kentucky, is asking what we all are: “Why?”
The 15-year-old male suspect, armed with a handgun, walked into his high school at 8:57 a.m. and began his rampage. 911 was called two minutes later. The victims were all young: ages ranging from 14 to 18. “No one screamed,” said Alexandria Caporali, a 16-year-old witness. “It was almost completely silent as people just ran. . . . It was one right after another—bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.”
Eighteen teens were reportedly injured in chaos, fourteen of them from gunshot wounds. Two have since died: Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both only 15 years old themselves.
Caporali says she believed the shooter to be “a happy, quiet boy who played music.” Not the kind of description one would suspect of a murderer, making us all question the state of his mental health and the mental health of teenagers at large today.
This month alone, eleven other shootings have taken place either at schools or right by them. While it was heartening to see a community coming together under the hashtag #MarshallStrong, I can’t help but tear up and wish that this were the last time I would hear a story like this. —Maria Walley