Karah Abbott is the 25-year-old woman who accused former UNCC quarterback Kevin Olsen of beating and raping her, and has finally gone public with her identity.
Abbott’s identity was kept a secret throughout Olsen’s trial. On October 3, 2018, Olsen was acquitted of all charges. Following that, Abbott wrote a lengthy Facebook post detailing her story, including pictures of her bruised face.
Olsen is known as the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen. To The Charlotte Observer, Abbott explained why she’s continuing to step forward: “This is in no way about him,” she said. “This is about me. It’s time to start standing up for myself.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Abbott Revealed the First Thing She Said After Olsen Was Acquitted: ‘I Just Don’t Know What Happened’
In an interview with The Charlotte Observer released December 5, Abbott said that the trial, though disappointing, was worth it for her. “The biggest point in coming forward is to save yourself,” she explained.
She hasn’t finished college, but has no plans to return to the UNCC campus, she said, adding that she was now interested in psychiatry as a result of her emotional ordeal. Abbott now wants to better understand why people stay in toxic relationships, which she further addressed in a Facebook post, specifically speaking to one of the jurors who later publicly asked why she didn’t run away.
“I want to start by saying for the anonymous juror who said I could have just left, or I could have yelled for help,” Abbott wrote, “thank you for pointing out the obvious. I’m sorry that in my moment of terror against my raging abusive ex-boyfriend I didn’t try to flea from him in a way that you would have seen fit. I’m sorry that me laying terrified in his bed waiting for him to fall asleep so that I could then safely flea from his bedroom, barefoot, in the middle of a February night, with an emerging black eye and bruises, wasn’t a satisfying escape for you.”
Abbott continued, “If you see this, I want you to think long and hard about that response, and if it was actually realistic. Because I can promise you in my particular circumstance, it was not. But in the end it all comes down to I left, I never looked back and that should have been all that matters. That night I saved myself and you should have recognized that.”
2. When Olsen Was Acquitted in October, Abbott Posted a Lengthy Message to Her Facebook & Attached Pictures of Her Bruised Face
In a lengthy Facebook post written immediately following Olsen’s acquittal, Abbott declared that she would not be silenced by “those with negative comments” and that she could no longer “hold in” what she had to say.
Here is her post in full:
I feel sick to my stomach as I am about to post this, but once again I simply can’t hold in what I’m about to say. Let me make one thing clear since people aren’t getting it. There were no false accusations made in my case. I have already stated I know I’m not perfect. I have my fair share of flaws. But make no mistake I did not lie about what happened to me that night. If I was desperate and wanted him for materialistic reasons or any other reason that people seem to be coming up with on their own, I would have never left. I would have silently stayed in bed, pretending nothing happened. But that’s not the case. I’m going to continue standing up for myself because I’m pissed and frankly you should be as well. Here’s some pictures showing you what my abuser was capable of that night. I am appalled at the way victims are treated and the horrific things that I’ve seen people say. Let me also clarify I did not ruin his life. He chose to do these things to me. I HAVE TO MOVE ON FROM THIS. I HAVE TO FIND THE STRENGTH WITHIN MYSELF TO START OVER. I am finally free and I will not be silent. You shouldn’t be either. For the people continuing to support me thank you, thank you for giving me the power I never knew I had to stand up for myself. Here’s to all the women like me terrified, angry, scared, and frankly numb. Anyone who has suffered from any kind of abuse I’m here and my inbox is always open. We are human being’s. Not “roaches.” We are human beings coming forward for help. Silence should no longer be the norm, and I promise no one will ever silence me.
For those with negative comments I will not reply to hatred, disrespectful remarks. They no longer phase me. I’m only showing the reality of the situation.
To The Charlotte Observer, Abbott shared that a sorority sister had reached out to her following her Facebook post, saying that a similar thing had been done to her. Abbott wrote back to her, “I am finally free and I will not be silent. You shouldn’t be either.”
3. Abbott’s Facebook Reveals That She Works at Outback Steakhouse & Went to UNC Charlotte for College
According to Abbott’s Facebook, she attended UNC Charlotte as an undergraduate and currently works at Outback Steakhouse.
4. Abbott Has Her Own WordPress Site Where She Gives Advice to Victims of PTSD, Shares Photos of Her Cooking, & Posts Think Pieces
Abbott’s WordPress site, ThereSheGoes694, is filled with virtual diary entries, pictures of her cooking, inspirational quotes, and advice to other survivors.
In one such post, Abbott gives four pieces of advice to those living with PTSD: to have a good support system, to pray, to find “leisure activities,” and to consider getting a pet. She wrote, “The day that I adopted Oliver my life changed forever. I got him while I was at the lowest point in my life. I remember the day that I saw him, my sister was with me and I told her I knew I had to have him. I had been dealing with some bad depression and anxiety of course I’m seeing someone and getting the help needed but something was missing. Something that no doctor was going to fix. I needed something that was going to better my life, give me purpose again. Oliver gave me that purpose, he was perfect, rambunctious, he was perfect.”
In another post, she wrote about how she refused to be a victim. “I’m thriving, or trying to anyways,” Abbott revealed. “While I may not be where I want to be now, one day hopefully sooner than later I will be there. I have owned up to the personal issues that I have been facing, and I’m working on them, PTSD isn’t going to go away over night. It’s something I could potentially battle for the rest of my life. But with the right help, we won’t be a victim to whats happened to us.”
5. Olsen Has Not Made a Public Statement Since His Acquittal; He Was Initially Charged With Three Counts of Second-Degree Rape & One Count of Second-Degree Sex Offense
Via The Charlotte Observer, Olsen was originally charged with four counts of rape and sex offense, each of them carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. He was acquitted of all charges. The trial had taken two weeks in total, and included a jury of nine men and three women. Over a hundred text messages exchanged between Abbott and Olsen were shared to the jury, including text messages by Olsen threatening to kill Abbott, and one from Abbott saying she wanted to ruin his life.
Abbott has since responded to those texts, including another one where she told a friend she hadn’t been raped by Olsen. To The Charlotte Observer on December 5, Abbott said, “I can’t take any of those back. Do I regret some of the things I said? Yes. I have a temper. I was a 23-year-old who had been in a toxic relationship. I was stuck. I was confused. I was probably feeling every emotion that a person could possibly feel.”
Defense attorney George Laughrun told The Charlotte Observer that the first thing Olsen said to him after the verdict was, “‘You never lost faith in me.'”