Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney was allegedly molested by her team’s doctor years ago, and now the medal winner has revealed she was paid to stay silent about the abuse.

McKayla Maroney sexual abuse case news

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the 22-year-old — who helped her team win the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London — claims USA Gymnastics paid Maroney to prevent her from speaking out against the team’s longtime physician, Larry Nassar.

Earlier this month, 54-year-old Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges. In November, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against underage girls.

Maroney first stated in October that Nassar began sexually abusing her when she was 13. In addition to winning the gold with the “Fierce Five” at the London 2012 Games, she also won a silver medal in the individual vault competition at those Olympics.


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According to the Wall Street Journal, Maroney’s settlement was worth $1.25 million. Her lawsuit added that reached the agreement with USA Gymnastics in order to pay for psychological treatment to deal with the trauma caused by the abuse.

Maroney made the accusations on Twitter, using the #MeToo hashtag that has proliferated on social media ever since hundreds of other women have come forward with reports of sexual harassment or assault at the hands of famous men across several industries like Harvey Weinstein, Dustin Hoffman, Brett Ratner, Al Franken, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer. 

Another American gymnast, three-time gold medallist Aly Raismanalso recently spoke out about Nassar’s molestation. Raisman, 23, said she was first treated by Nassar when she was 15.

Raisman, who competed in both the 2012 Olympics and the 2016 Games in Rio, told “60 Minutes” last month that she was angry at Nassar and the broader culture of USA Gymnastics that she said kept victims quiet for years.

In the wake of the allegations, USA Gymnastics adopted a series of reforms in June that it said will help prevent and respond quickly to future incidents of sexual abuse. All members are now required to report suspected sexual misconduct, and adults kicked out of a club will be tracked in a database.

“Although USA Gymnastics is disappointed by today’s filing, we applaud McKayla and others who speak up against abusive behavior — including the despicable acts of Larry Nassar,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “We want to work together with McKayla and others to help encourage and empower athletes to speak up against abuse.”

Nassar was the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women’s crew teams as well as an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He worked at MSU from 1997 to 2016 and served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.
The lawsuit also lists the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State as defendants.
Maroney became a sensation after the 2012 Olympics not only for her performance, but also for her signature smirk that generated a viral meme with the caption “not impressed.” She even took a photo of herself with then-President Barack Obama doing the grimace together at the White House.
ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM – OCTOBER 02: McKayla Maroney of USA competes in the Womens Balance Beam Qualification on Day Three of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Belgium 2013 held at the Antwerp Sports Palace on October 2, 2013 in Antwerpen, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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