Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, claiming the organizations tried to dissuade her from revealing the sexual abuse she suffered as an underage teenager from disgraced former team doctor Larry Nassar.
The gold medalist, now 22, broke her silence in October, claiming to have been repeatedly molested by Nassar, who was working as the physician for the U.S. Women’s National Gymnastics Team.
“He abused my trust, he abused my body and he left scars on my psyche that may never go away,” Maroney said of Nassar’s misconduct in a victim impact statement. “He needs to be behind bars so he will never prey upon another child.”
According to a report from the New York Daily News, Maroney said she signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of a financial settlement to bar her from speaking out about Nassar’s wrongdoing. It was part of the USOC’s effort to hide “known and suspected sexual abusers.”
Maroney, a California resident, said USA Gymnastics paid the settlement — a violation of California law — in exchange for her silence about Nassar’s abuse. The gymnast’s lawsuit seeks to nullify the agreement.
The court papers did not disclose the amount of the settlement, though a report from The Los Angeles Times suggested Maroney previously received $1.25 million.
In late November, Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct after 125 victims came forward alleging abuse. He was sentenced in early December to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges.
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