Maroney took a legal chance by violating the terms of that agreement (if in fact, a court would find that USA Gymnastics could enforce buying her silence on sexual abuse) in October when she publicly posted about being abused by Nassar starting when she was 13 years old (she is now 21).
Maroney has now filed suit against USA Gymnastics in Los Angeles County Superior Court. John Manly, Maroney’s attorney who filed the suit, was not representing her at the time that USA Gymnastics paid her for her silence.
“Confidentiality agreements in child sex abuse cases are unlawful in the state of California and have been for years,” Manly said. “We’re basically saying USAG and its lawyers violated the law by asking McKayla to agree to it and that she should be free to talk about her abuse to whomever she wants, whenever she wants.”
Manly says that Maroney entered the agreement at a time when she was emotionally traumatized as news was emerging of all the former gymnasts that Nassar had sexually abused.
Nassar pleaded guilty last month and has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. McKayla Maroney and her mom submitted the following witness impact statement detailing some of the abuse she faced.
“[Nassar] had given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting treatment,” McKayla Maroney wrote.
Erin Maroney detailed the same incident in her letter to the federal court.
“[Nassar] drugged her, made her lay nude on a treatment table, straddled her and digitally penetrated her while rubbing his erect penis against her,” Erin Maroney wrote. “She was only 15 years old. She said to me, ‘Mom I thought I was going to die.’
“This experience has shattered McKayla. She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal. At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead.”
The amount and level of abuse that Nassar perpetrated is horrifying, and that USA Gymnastics protected itself and sought to silence a prominent Olympian is disgusting.