Probably not, although as the Daily Mail reports, it’s at least a possibility. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar faces as much as 125 years in prison for years of sexual molestation and assault involving dozens of women, including athletes who triumphed at the Olympic Games. Gold medalist McKayla Maroney is one of those victims, but a $1.25 million settlement with USAG included a non-disclosure agreement which would cost her as much as $100,000 to violate:
The two-time world-champion vaulter, 22, agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of the deal, which imposes a $100,000 fine should she ever speak about Nassar or the abuse she suffered at the heads of the disgraced doctor.
However, that horse has already left the barn, so to speak. Maroney violated the NDA three months ago by disclosing how Nassar violated her, part of an avalanche of public accusations that laid bare the torment that took place under USAG’s noses. For Maroney, that meant being trapped for seven years of abuse:
The athlete first broke the terms of her agreement with USA Gymnastics when she shared a post on her Twitter account back in October. …
Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving “medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years”,’ Maroney, 21, said of her abuse in a social media post.
‘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, and It happened before I won my silver.’ …
She claimed that on the way to the world championship that year Nassar gave her a sleeping pill and she awoke to find him performing a ‘treatment’ on her in the hotel.
‘I thought I was going to die that night,’ wrote Maroney.
That last incident took place in 2011 before the world championship in Tokyo. The front-page picture shows Maroney competing at that event after the incident took place. Imagine the strength of will that took for anyone, let alone a 15-year-old girl traveling so far from home and the protection of her family. Small wonder that Maroney’s not letting the NDA or a potential $100,000 hit keep her from speaking out.
It likely wouldn’t keep her from filing a victim impact statement in court either, as the legality of using an NDA in that manner would be questionable at best. But even if it did, supermodel Chrissy Teigen publicly announced that she’d pay the damages:
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
It seems doubtful it will come to that. USAG has enough public relations problems stemming from their long association with Nassar without adding revictimizing his victims to the catastrophe. The penalty wouldn’t be a “fine,” but rather a liability for which USAG would need to sue Maroney to recover. Good luck finding a jury to award $100,000 back to USAG for failing to cooperate with their cover-up, and Teigen’s tweet demonstrates just how high-profile the pushback will be. USAG would have to be insane to go after Maroney.
Maroney may not want to testify, but don’t expect the NDA to stop her or to slow down Nassar’s prosecution. The sentencing trial is already underway, and NBC reports that the court expects to hear from almost one hundred witnesses in its victim-impact portion:
A marathon sentencing hearing for gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar got off to a searing start Tuesday when a young woman who was molested by him as a child described how it tore her family apart and helped drive her father to suicide.
Kyle Stephens was the first of nearly 100 girls and women who are expected to give statements against Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and a physician at Michigan State University. …
“Without my knowledge or consent, I had engaged in my first sexual experience when I was in kindergarten,” Stephens said.
Nassar was a family friend. Stephens is the only accuser who was not molested as a patient of his sports-medicine practice.
She was 12 years old when she told her parents about the abuse. They confronted him and he denied it.
Stephens’ voice cracked as she said: “My parents chose to believe Larry Nassar over me.”
What a monster. Let’s hope the court puts Nassar away for every single year that he’s earned.
Update: The hearing is being streamed live at the NBC link, but CBS also has a clip from Stephens’ testimony.
"For me, it was a girl getting out her gun and laying it on the bed just to remind herself that she has control over her own life," one of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse victims gives a powerful testimony about how he affected her life. pic.twitter.com/czS4Y7ZlH7
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 16, 2018