Gymnast McKayla Maroney paid to keep quiet about abuse, lawsuit says
(CNN) — Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles that USA Gymnastics paid her to be quiet about abuse by the team’s longtime doctor who has admitted to sexually abusing underage girls.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, also names Michigan State University, the US Olympic Committee and former team doctor Larry Nassar as defendants.
USA Gymnastics said it needed to read the lawsuit first before commenting. CNN has reached out to the other defendants.
No other athletes who leveled accusations against the 54-year-old Nassar were asked or compelled to sign confidential settlement agreements, according to Stu Mollrich, a representative of the law firm representing Maroney in the suit.
“In December of 2016, after suffering for years from psychological trauma of her sexual abuse at the hands of Nassar, and in need of funds to pay for psychological treatment,” Maroney was forced to enter into a confidential agreement with USA Gymnastics, the lawsuit said.
The complaint said the gymnast “was forced to agree to a non-disparagement clause and confidentiality provision, in the above-mentioned settlement agreement, that brought with it liquidated damages penalties of over $100,000, should she or other affiliated non-parties speak of her abuse or The Settlement.”
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges earlier this month.
In November, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and admitted to using his position to sexually abuse underage girls.