McKayla Maroney finally can to tell her harrowing story without worrying about her finances.
USA Gymnastics announced Wednesday that it won’t fine the Olympic gold medalist if she speaks publicly about the sexual abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of former U.S. women’s gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Maroney now is free to break her non-disclosure agreement with USA Gymnastics and make a victim-impact statement this week in Michigan federal court during Nassar’s sentencing on sexual-assault convictions.
“USA Gymnastics has not sought and will not seek any money from McKayla Maroney for her brave statements made in describing her victimization and abuse by Larry Nassar, nor for any victim impact statements she wants to make to Larry Nassar at this hearing or at any subsequent hearings related to his sentencing,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement, per Sports Illustrated. “This has been her right and USA Gymnastics encourages McKayla and anyone who has been abused to speak out. USA Gymnastics remains focused on our highest priority — the safety, health and well-being of our athletes and creating a culture that empowers and supports them.”
Maroney signed the NDA in December 2016 as part of a $1.25 million settlement with USA Gymnastics, but she sued the organization last month, claiming she only agreed not to accuse Nassar publicly because she was traumatized at the time and needed the money to help pay for psychological treatment.
USA Gymnastics could have fined Maroney $100,000 for revealing Nassar’s abuse publicly but apparently has ruled out that option.
Model Chrissy Teigen offered Tuesday via Twitter to pay Maroney’s fine.
Nassar worked with USA Gymnastics from 1986 to 2015 as a trainer and team doctor. USA Gymnastics fired him in 2015 amid allegations of sexual abuse. Michigan State University also fired him in 2015 for similar reasons.
As of Tuesday, 88 women have agreed to make victim-impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing. An estimated 140 to 170 girls and women have accused him of sexual abuse.
He already pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge and is serving a 60-year prison sentence.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/The Fashion