McKayla Maroney, a Long Beach native and one of the nation’s most known Olympic athletes, sued the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Gymnastics Wednesday, alleging that officials had her sign a confidential financial settlement to keep under wraps the sexual abuse she says she suffered as a teenager by team doctor Larry Nassar.
In documents filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the gold medalist accused the USOC of covering up its knowledge of Nassar’s misconduct as part of a “culture and atmosphere that conceals known and suspected sexual abusers.”
“Despite her overwhelming drive and talent, which promulgated in her success, Maroney was being serially molested by Nassar before, during and after trainings and competitions,” the suit states.
USA Gymnastics stated that the confidential financial settlement Maroney is challenging was initiated by her and her attorney then, Gloria Allred.
“The process culminated in a settlement agreement that included a mutual non-disclosure clause and a mutual non-disparagement clause,” according to the organization. “The settlement in 2016 was in accordance with state law, despite what has been alleged. At all times, McKayla was represented by Allred, a California-based attorney, who actively negotiated and approved the settlement agreement signed by McKayla.”
Despite the lawsuit, USA Gymnastics stated, “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
The USOC stated the committee was not made aware of the settlement, according to the Los Angeles Times.
And while the documents did not state how much Maroney was paid for her not disclosing publicly Nassar’s abuse, The Times reported that sources familiar with the case say she received $1.25 million last winter.
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Maroney joined the #MeToo movement in October of women coming forward with claims of sexual abuse, saying she was molested starting at age 13 by Nassar, who has been sued by dozens of women claiming he abused them and plead guilty to possessing child pornography.
While it seems Maroney has a deactivated Twitter account, you can read her post via her Facebook page below:
City News Service contributed to this report.
Image from McKayla Maroney’s Facebook page.
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