Simone Biles’ family is comprised of her birth parents, Shanon Biles and Kelvin Clemons, her adoptive parents (who are also her grandparents) Ron and Nellie Biles, and her siblings, Adria, Ashley, and Tevin. She’s also in a relationship with Stacey Ervin.
Biles’ brother, Tevin Biles-Thomas, was arrested on August 30 and charged in a shooting that took place on Dec. 31 at an AirBnb party and left three people dead. Tevin, 24, grew up in a different home than Biles.
Here’s what you need to know about Biles’ family:
1. Biles’ Brother, Tevin, Has Been Charged in a Triple Homicide
On Friday, August 30, Biles’ brother, Tevin Biles-Thomas was charged and arrested on 15 counts, two of which were murder, one having to do with voluntary manslaughter, and one count of felonious assault, among others. The charges are in connection to a Dec. 31 shooting in an AirBnb party in Georgia that left three people dead. Tevin has been identified as the shooter, authorities say.
According to NBC, Tevin was on active duty with the military at the time of his arrest. He serves as a cannon crewmember for the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, and has been in the Army since 2014.
Biles, who is two years younger than her older brother, has not given a comment on the arrest. However, the night before news of Tevin’s arrest went public, she did tweet cryptically, “eating my feelings don’t talk to me.”
2. Biles Was Adopted by Her Grandparents, Ron & Nellie
Many might think that Ron and Nellie Biles are Simone’s parents, but in fact they are her adoptive parents. They’re also her grandparents, surprisingly enough.
In 2017, while Simone was on Dancing With the Stars, she opened up about her experience being adopted by her grandparents, who adopted her and one of her siblings, Adria, after they heard that she’d been put into the foster care system.
“Growing up, my biological mom was suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and she was in and out of jail,” Biles said. “I never had mom to run to. I do remember always being hungry and afraid. At 3 years old, I was placed in foster care…Whenever we had visits with my grandpa, I was so excited. That was the person I always wanted to see walk in to the foster home.”
Simone said of her parents, “My parents saved me. They’ve set huge examples of how to treat other people, and they’ve been there to support me since day one. There’s nothing I could say to them to thank them enough.”
3. Biles Has Three Siblings & Two Half-Siblings
Biles has three siblings by birth: Adria, Ashley and Tevin. But when her grandparents adopted her, she became half-siblings with the two men who were originally her uncles: Ron Jr. and Adam Biles.
To be clear, only Simone and Adria were adopted by her grandparents, in 2003. Ashley and Tevin were adopted by Ron’s sister, Harriett, who was their great aunt. That’s why Tevin’s last name is Biles-Thomas, not just Biles.
4. Biles & Her Siblings Went Through the Foster Care System for Several Years
Biles does not frequently talk about her birth parents. According to People, her mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol throughout Biles’ childhood. Her birth parents’ names are Shanon Biles and Kelvin Clemons; Clemons was not involved in Biles’ life.
Shanon Biles did speak to The Daily Mail in 2016, claiming her father wouldn’t allow her to see her children. She said,
When we signed the [adoption] papers, it was like my dad flipped a switch on me – no communication, don’t call, and don’t visit. That’s how it was at the beginning.
It took me six years before I saw my children again. I was respecting my Dad to let the kids’ transition, he felt that was the best thing for them. It was hard to give up my kids but I had to do what I had to, I wasn’t able to care for them. I was still using and he didn’t want me coming in and out of their lives when I wasn’t right.
She added, “I didn’t understand it at the time but years later, I understood why. I had to deal with me first.” Shanon said that she’s still in touch with Clemons, and that he’s “very proud of” Biles.
5. Biles & Her Family Practice Catholicism
The Biles family practices Catholicism. In her autobiography, Courage to Soar, Biles spoke about how her faith informed her gymnastics practice, as well as her personal life. She’s also talked about being Catholic in a number of interviews.
In an interview with The Houston Chronicle, Biles said of her autobiography, “I wanted to talk about family, competition and things like downfalls and injuries so that kids can understand that I go through those things, too. Kids today talk about faith, and I think it’s OK for me to share my faith so kids can see how it helps you through the whole process.”
To Us Weekly, Biles shared that her mother gave her a rosary. She said, “My mom, Nellie, got me a rosary at church. I don’t use it to pray before a competition. I’ll just pray normally to myself, but I have it there in case.”