The sentencing of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who has been found guilty of child pornography charges and sexual assault, has been taking place in Lansing, Michigan this week. Nassar has been accused of sexually abusing more than 100 girls, and many of them are making victim impact statements at his sentencing.
But McKayla Maroney, a victim of Nassar’s abuse and one of the “Fierce Five” gymnasts from the 2012 Olympic team, might not be able tell her story at Nassar’s sentencing. USA Gymnastics required Maroney to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) as part of a $1.25 million abuse-related settlement, and that NDA forbids her from speaking publicly about Nassar or the abuse she suffered. If she violates that, the penalty is a $100,000 fine.
Internet hero Chrissy Teigen couldn’t accept that. When she heard that a $100,000 fine could prevent Maroney from telling her story in court, she stepped up.
The entire principle of this should be fought – an NDA to stay quiet about this serial monster with over 140 accusers, but I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla. pic.twitter.com/lsBEgEqZpD
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 16, 2018
Maroney hasn’t responded, but it’s an incredibly generous offer that would allow her to break the NDA without suffering any personal financial consequences.
If Maroney speaks at Nassar’s sentencing, she would be the 89th woman expected to do so. The Michigan attorney general’s office says that 88 other woman have agreed to make victim impact statements. Nassar, who is present in the courtroom, has to listen to every single one. Kyle Stephens, who was just 6 years old when Nassar began sexually abusing her, spoke about how Nassar’s actions tore her family completely apart.
“You convinced my parents that I was a liar. You used my body for six years. That is unforgivable.”
Former gymnast Alexis Moore asked Nassar a question.
“Are you remorseful for your actions and all the lives you have changed forever?”
The lives that Nassar has “changed” with his abuse are many. The numbers are horrifying, with estimates ranging from 140 to nearly 170 girls and women. Maroney is one of four high-profile gymnasts who revealed that they were abused by Nassar. Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas went public with their stories in 2017, and Simone Biles revealed that she had been abused by Nassar on Monday. Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges, and could receive life in prison as a result of his conviction on sexual assault charges.
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