Gabby Douglas' Mom on Bankruptcy: "It's My Story, it's Part of Me"

Natalie Hawkins filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in January

Monday, Aug 6, 2012  |  Updated 8:08 AM EDT
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Gabby Douglas' Mom: "It's My Story, It's Part of Me"

AFP/Getty Images

US gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs on the beam during the women's qualification of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on July 29, 2012 at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/GettyImages)

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Court records show that the mother of Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas filed for bankruptcy earlier this year in Virginia.

Documents filed in January in the Eastern District of Virginia show Natalie Hawkins filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows a person to reorganize their finances and pay down debt over several years.

The documents list Hawkins as having assets totaling $163,706, including a townhouse in Virginia Beach. Douglas, who has won two gold medals at the London Olympics, is from Virginia Beach but had moved to Iowa to train for the games. Hawkins also lists roughly $80,000 in debts.

An order issued in March says Hawkins is to pay $400 toward her debts over a nearly five-year period.

Douglas has been one of the most popular athletes at the Olympics in London, becoming the first African-American woman to win an all-around gold medal in gymnastics. The 4-foot-11 16-year-old taken home two gold medals so far and has become an international superstar, winning over fans with her smile and the nickname "Flying Squirrel."

The gymnast's agent has fielded hundreds of emails from businesses, talk shows and magazines interested in Douglas, and she's already slated to appear on the cover of a Corn Flakes box. She stands to earn millions of dollars from endorsement deals and other ventures. Douglas has been training for two years in Iowa and hasn't been home to Virginia Beach since then.

The bankruptcy filings list Hawkins as having assets totaling $163,706, with a townhouse in Virginia Beach and a 2007 Nissan Maxima accounting for the bulk of it.

Hawkins said the bankruptcy filing allowed her "to still be able to live and reorganize my debt in such a way that I could still pay what I owed."

"It's my story, it's part of me. I'm not even embarrassed about it,'' Hawkins said Sunday in London. "It shows that even though I didn't like to have to do it, I'm glad there was something there for me to be able to protect my home."

Hawkins also lists roughly $80,000 in debts. The bulk of that is from her mortgage. Hawkins is separated from her husband and lists about $2,500 in income a month, which comes from Social Security disability benefits and child support, according to the documents.

Natalie Hawkins went on long-term medical disability in 2009, and there were six months when the single mother of four had little to no income. In addition to mortgage payments for her home, there were expenses for Douglas' training and her other three children.

Douglas is scheduled to compete again in the uneven bars event, which is scheduled to be held Monday.

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