this is awful
Former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney filed a lawsuit in a California court Wednesday claiming that USA Gymnastics forced her into signing a nondisclosure agreement last year, NBC News reports. The NDA — which Maroney's lawyer called "hypocritical, immoral, and in this case illegal" — was reportedly part of a financial settlement over alleged sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
The money Maroney received in the settlement was disbursed so she could receive psychological care after the abuse. The lawsuit claims Maroney is "gripped by depression and anxiety" as a result of the alleged mistreatment by Nassar, NBC News writes. Maroney's lawsuit also alleges that her NDA was part of a greater plan by USA Gymnastics to silence Nassar's victims and let him "quietly leave" the organization without public scrutiny.
In the state of California, NBC News notes, "victims of child sexual abuse cannot be forced to sign an NDA as a condition of a settlement."
Nassar — who has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and sexual assault charges — left USA Gymnastics in 2015, claiming he'd "retired" so he could run for a local school board position. Last September, The Indianapolis Star broke the story about allegations against Nassar, and The Washington Post reported earlier this year that USA Gymnastics contacted the FBI in July 2015 about Nassar's alleged sexual abuse.
In October, Maroney broke her silence, detailing abuse that occurred when she was as young as 13. Maroney announced that she was done competing in gymnastics in 2016, and her lawsuit claims that Nassar's abuse played a role in her departure. She is suing for millions of dollars in damages from Nassar, USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Michigan State University, who continued to employ Nassar after several investigations into his alleged sexual misconduct.
Neither USA Gymnastics or Nassar's legal team spoke to NBC News for comment. Read the full story at NBC News.