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Lawsuit Claims Gymnast McKayla Maroney Was Paid to Keep Quiet about Sexual Abuse
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Photo courtesy of NBC News.

Summary: Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney is suing USA Gymnastics for allegedly silencing her to not speak out about Dr. Larry Nassar. 

On Wednesday, Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, the US Olympic Committee, and her team’s doctor Larry Nassar. In her shocking suit, she said that she was paid off to keep quiet about the sexual abuse she had endured while she was a gymnast, CNN reported.

  
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Maroney said that Dr. Nassar had sexually abused her since she was 13 and that the doctor had touched her inappropriately during sessions that Maroney was made to believe were doctor examinations. Maroney said that USA Gymnastics had given her a six-figure settlement in order to not go public with what Nassar had done, and this silence was a part of how Nassar was able to get away with abusing children for so long.

MSU declined to comment on the litigation, and Dr. Nassar and the US Olympic Committee have not yet responded to CNN. USA Gymnastics said that confidentiality was initiated by McKayla’s former attorney, Gloria Allred, who declined to comment to CNN.

“Although USA Gymnastics is disappointed by today’s filing, we applaud McKayla and others who speak up against abusive behavior — including the despicable acts of Larry Nassar. We want to work together with McKayla and others to help encourage and empower athletes to speak up against abuse,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.

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The organization said that they could not comment on the non-disclosure agreement or mediation process because of state laws.

Maroney’s current law firm said that no other athlete was forced to sign an NDA after accusing Nassar, 54, of sexual abuse. Her legal team said that she had only signed the confidentiality agreement and took the settlement because she needed funds for psychological treatment.



“The US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics were well aware that the victim of child sexual abuse in California cannot be forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition of a settlement,” one of Maroney’s attorneys, John Manley, said in a statement. “Such agreements are illegal for very good reasons — they silence victims and allow perpetrators to continue committing their crimes. That is exactly what happened in this case.”

Maroney and dozens of other gymnasts have accused Dr. Nassar of sexual misconduct. The women claim that he used his position as the official USA Gymnastics doctor to molest them under the guise of medical care.

Maroney named MSU as a defendant because while Nassar was an Olympic doctor he was also the team physician for the school’s gymnastics and women’s crew team and an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Earlier this month, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography. In November, he had pled guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual misconduct for his actions against the underage girls he was hired to treat.

What do you think of this lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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