Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson has accused a female TSA agent of “groping her,” “yelling at her” and “publicly humiliating her” while trying to carry breast milk to her two-month-old son.
The 29-year-old mother of two opened up about the “unnecessary” behavior in a series of Instagram Stories posts, revealing that the incident happened while she was traveling back from Texas to her home in Nashville, Tennessee – where she had spent the weekend reuniting with three of her 2008 Olympic teammates.
Johnson shared a tearful selfie with her followers, reprimanding the TSA checkpoint employee for her actions, writing: “To the lady at the TSA checkpoint having a bad day… on me was not necessary.
‘I can honestly say that was one of the worst experiences’ [I’ve had].’
Verdict: Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson has accused a female TSA agent of ‘groping her’ and ‘yelling at her’ for trying to bring breast milk through airport security on Sunday
Angry: The 29-year-old mother of two – who gave birth to second child Jett on July 19 – was on her way home from Texas to Nashville, Tennessee when the incident happened
‘Duty’: Johnson posted about the disturbing exchange on her Instagram stories, criticizing the unnamed TSA agent for ‘publicly humiliating her’
In a second post obtained by Yahoo, Johnson shared a photo of her breast milk supply, which included several clear plastic bags, as well as some red stickers with storks on them to identify the milk.
She then accused the unnamed TSA agent of “groping and yelling at her” while asking her to “prove” that she was actually carrying breast milk and no other liquid.
Claim to fame: Johnson spent the weekend in Austin, where she reunited with three of her teammates from the 2008 Olympics – where she won four medals, including gold on the balance beam
“We as moms have a duty to our babies and a right in this world to carry breast milk through security,” she wrote. ‘make you public'[ly] humiliate me by proving to you that breast milk was actually against my rights.
“To be groped and yelled at in public was an exaggeration. I know you did your job… but so did I.’
Johnson – who won four Olympic medals, including gold on balance beam, at the 2008 Beijing Games – did not share other details about the exchange, which is said to have taken place at a Texas airport.
According to the TSA, parents are allowed to carry breast milk in amounts greater than the legal amount of liquid in their carry-on luggage, whether or not they are traveling with children.
These liquids must be removed from cabin baggage at security checkpoints so that they can be “screened separately from the rest of your belongings” and checked by TSA officials, who have the authority to refuse them.
The TSA website also states that anyone who does not want their breast milk x-rayed may be subject to “additional screening procedures,” including a “pat-down and other carry-on screening.”
Back together: Johnson attended the Austin City Limits music festival with fellow ex-gymnasts Nastia Liukin (left), Samantha Peszek (center back) and Alicia Sacramone (front)
Johnson did not say whether she declined an X-ray for her breast milk, nor did she reveal whether she would eventually be allowed to board her flight with the breast milk — which she took home to her son Jett, who was born on July 19.
A TSA spokesperson told DailyMail.com it is “supporting passengers traveling with breast milk” and said: “I can tell you that breast milk is allowed, of course.
“We support passengers traveling with breast milk and other essential nutrition for their children, so we provide details of our screening protocols on our website.”
The shocking incident came at the end of a fun weekend for the gymnast, who has two children — three-month-old Jett and 23-month-old daughter Drew — with husband Andrew East.
In what was her first trip without her baby boy, Johnson spent the weekend in Austin, Texas, where she reunited for the first time in “years” with her 2008 Olympic teammates Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacramone and Samantha Peszek.
The foursome spent the weekend at the Austin City Limits music festival, which featured Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and Doja Cat, among others.
Struggle: Johnson welcomed her son in July and revealed in August she was struggling to breastfeed him, admitting she was ‘so sad’ about the difficulties
Family: The gymnast also shares a daughter, 23-month-old Drew Hazel, with husband Andrew East
But while all four former gymnasts seemed to have had a fun weekend, Johnson revealed on her Instagram that the festival was not without its ups and downs.
She shared a photo of the group posing together, writing: ‘We missed the concert, lost a phone in a toilet bowl, sand in our bag, suffered a concussion and drank terrible coffee… but somehow had the best time ever. I love you girls!’
More than ten years have passed since the group competed in the Beijing Olympics together – where they helped the US win a silver medal in the team event final, while Liukin and Johnson claimed gold and silver in the all-around.
Johnson’s Instagram posts about her TSA experience come just two months after she spoke out about her breastfeeding issues with son Jett.
The mother-of-two — who ended up feeding her daughter Drew through a bottle of expressed breast milk after struggling to breastfeed her — explained that she was devastated by her son’s struggles.
“There’s always one feed a day where he seems super hungry and gives all the clues, but screams bloody murder when I try to feed him,” she wrote on Instagram.
“It makes me so sad.”