Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney once signed a confidential $1.25 million settlement agreement with USA Gymnastics, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal on Wednesday reported that the December 2016 pact was to resolve claims related to years of alleged sexual abuse Maroney suffered from the national team’s longtime doctor.
The contents of the settlement were described to The Journal before its existence was confirmed in a lawsuit filed by Maroney in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday.
Maroney’s lawsuit seeks damages from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University (MSU), where Larry Nassar worked for decades.
The case also names USA Gymnastics as a defendant, and it seeks to invalidate parts of Maroney’s settlement with the national team.
Maroney’s suit argues that the settlement agreement’s nondisclosure and non-disparagement clauses are illegal.
“They were willing to engage in a systematic cover-up of the entire matter,” John Manly, the attorney who filed Maroney’s lawsuit, told ESPN Wednesday.
Manly noted that Maroney willingly entered the agreement, but did so when she was emotionally traumatized by the emerging news about Nassar.
The first sexual misconduct allegations against Nassar were then appearing, and he now stands accused in civil lawsuits of sexually abusing more than 140 women during medical exams.
“I want people to understand that this kid had no choice,” Manly said. “She couldn’t function. She couldn’t work.”
“They [USAG] were willing to sacrifice the health and well-being of one of the most famous gymnasts in the world because they didn’t want the world to know they were protecting a pedophile doctor.”
Maroney claimed on Twitter last October that Nassar had molested her for years, calling the experiences she suffered before reaching the Olympics “disgusting.”
The athlete ultimately won gold in the team gymnastics competition at the 2012 Olympics in London and later scored a silver there at the individual vault finals.
Nassar last month pleaded guilty to 10 total counts of criminal sexual conduct during two separate hearings in Michigan.
The former doctor treated Team USA gymnasts at four Olympic Games, and his sentencing on seven of those counts is scheduled for Jan. 16.