usa gymnastics

Attorney for McKayla Maroney: USA Gymnastics Paid Her to Keep Quiet on Nassar

Maroney was paid a reported $1.25 million to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding sexual abuse from USAG physician Larry Nassar.

by Sean Newell
Dec 20 2017, 8:57pm

Robert Killips-USA TODAY Sports

According to USA Gymnastics star McKayla Maroney's attorney, John Manly, USAG brokered a deal with Maroney to remain silent regarding her own story of sexual abuse at the hands of team physician Larry Nassar. The deal came just as Nassar's history of abuse was uncovered, when athlete after athlete went public, in often excruciating detail, with accounts abuse they suffered from a supposed team ally. Manly did not specify the amount of the payment, but the Wall Street Journal reports that it was $1.25 million.

Maroney has alleged in public, and in victim impact statements in Nassar's federal child pornography case, that Nassar drugged her on a flight and took her to his hotel room where she woke up naked to the doctor digitally penetrating her and rubbing his penis on her. Maroney, who was 15 at the time, said she told her mom "I thought I was going to die."

Maroney—wha says she was as young as 13 when Nassar first assaulted her—voluntarily signed the agreement, but Manly insists it came at a time when she was reckoning with not only her own abuse, but the abuse suffered by so many others involved in USA gymnastics. She violated the terms of that agreement when she posted about it on Twitter in a tweet that has since been deleted.

"I want people to understand that this kid had no choice. She couldn't function. She couldn't work," Manly said. "They [USAG] were willing to sacrifice the health and well-being of one of the most famous gymnasts in the world because they didn't want the world to know they were protecting a pedophile doctor."

Manly revealed the confidentiality agreement as part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of Maroney against USA Gymnastics and Nassar, among others. the crux of the argument is that confidentiality agreement for child sexual abuse cases in California are illegal and USAG violated state law in asking Maroney to sign it.

Nassar, 54, has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on the child pornography charges, and just pleaded guilty to ten charges of sexual assault in two separate criminal cases in November, for which he awaits sentencing. He also has been named in civil lawsuits that allege he assaulted more than 140 women during "medical exams."