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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 22 January, 2020

Chrissy Teigen offered to pay Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's $100k fine for speaking out against her abuser

Over 140 young women have made allegations against Dr. Larry Nassar.

Imago 20120805 Source: Imago/PA Images

OLYMPIC GYMNAST McKAYLA Maroney shared her harrowing #MeToo story in October.

The 22-year-old named convicted sex offender Dr. Larry Nassar as her repeat abuser. She said that the abuse occurred from when she was just thirteen years old, to when she retired from gymnastics in 2016. She was just one of over 140 women to speak about Dr. Larry Nassar.

In a statement on Twitter, she wrote:

Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated’. It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal.

She detailed the worst instance of abuse, which occurred in 2015. She had flown all day and night to get to Tokyo. Nassar gave her a sleeping pill on the flight and the next thing she knew, she had woken up in his hotel room, where she thought she was going to die while he gave her the “treatment” as he had previously done so.

After 30 years as an osteopath with the USA gymnastics program, Nassar is now in prison serving a 60 year sentence for the possession of child-porn.

File: McKayla Maroney Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Simone Biles was another of the 140+ young women to speak out about Larry Nassar. Earlier this week, she posted a statement on Twitter:

I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar. Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.

Gymnastics - international competition Source: DPA/PA Images

It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused.

In November, Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct and admitted using his position as a medical professional to sexually abuse the young gymnasts.

This Tuesday, the first of many victim impact statements were read out in court.

A spokesperson from The Michigan Department of Attorney General expects at least 98 individuals and/or their parents to share their statements over a number of days. One parent told Nassar that her daughter took her life following the abuse.

CORRECTION Doctor-Sexual Assault Kyle Stephens Source: AP/PA Images

Another victim, Kyle Stephens (who had been abused from the age of six) looked Nassar in the eye as she told him that her father was so devastated when he learned about the abuse, that he also took his own life. In Kyle’s statement, she said “Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”

McKayla Maroney was not set to be one of them.

File: McKayla Maroney Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

It has since been revealed that McKayla Maroney was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement in the $1.25m settlement she reached with the United States Olympic Committee and Larry Nassar.

Because of the NDA, it was reported that she would face a $100,000 fine if she spoke at Nassar’s sentencing. When Chrissy Teigen read about this, she was pretty angry. She took to Twitter to tell McKayla that she’d be honoured to pay the fine on her behalf.

PastedImage-58500 Source: Chrissy Teigen/Twitter

Following the attention brought to the matter by Chrissy Teigen (who received 70k retweets and 300,000 likes) , USA Gymnastics released a statement.

Speaking to USA Today, they said:

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.

Nassar is scheduled to be sentenced in two weeks. Of the 140 women who have opened up about being abused by the doctor, around 125 have filed lawsuits against him so far.

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Kelly Earley

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