Chrissy Teigen offered to pay McKayla Maroney’s potential fine after reports claimed the Olympic gold medalist will be penalized for speaking at former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s sentencing because of the NDA she signed with the organization.
“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,” Teigen tweeted on Tuesday, January 16.
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
However, USA Gymnastics told Us Weekly in a statement on Tuesday that the organization would not be fining the athlete for speaking out against Nassar. “USA Gymnastics has not sought and will not seek any money from McKayla Maroney for her brave statements made in describing her victimization and abuse by Larry Nassar, nor for any victim impact statements she wants to make to Larry Nassar at this hearing or at any subsequent hearings related to his sentencing,” the organization said. “This has been her right and USA Gymnastics encourages McKayla and anyone who has been abused to speak out. USA Gymnastics remains focused on our highest priority – the safety, health and well-being of our athletes and creating a culture that empowers and supports them.”
As previously reported, Maroney, 22, claimed that USA Gymnastics paid her to keep quiet about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Nassar in a lawsuit filed by her attorney, John Manly, on December 2. USA Gymnastics paid the former Olympian to sign a confidentiality agreement not speak about Nassar’s abuse publicly, according to the court documents obtained by Us Weekly. Her lawsuit seeks to nullify the agreement and states it is “illegal, unconscionable, against public policy, and unenforceable.”
The lawsuit also accuses USA Gymnastic of wanting the confidentiality agreement so “it could further conceal and shield from public scrutiny, outside investigation, and law enforcement, the true nature of Nassar’s horrific sexual abuse of minors.”
Maroney responded to Teigen’s tweet via a statement from her attorney: “I’m not on social media right now, but I wish I was for this! I’m shocked by your generosity, and I just want you to know how much hope your words bring to all of us! I just can’t get over the fact that someone I don’t personally know is sticking up for me, let alone a strong women that I’ve looked up to for years! Thank you Chrissy, you’re so inspiring, and things are starting to change because of people like you! Just saying that was worth the decision to speak up regardless of a fine. You’re heart pure gold. God bless. All my love, McKayla “
Maroney accused Nassar of sexual abuse in October 2017, and wrote a letter that detailed her abuse to the judge presiding over the federal child pornography case against Nasser. The ex-Michigan State University doctor pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls and possessing child pornography, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison on December 7. More than 130 women and girls — including fellow Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas — have accused him of inappropriate or abusive sexual behavior.
Nassar’s sentencing for the sexual abuse charges begins on Tuesday and is set to run until Friday, January 19. NBC News reports that nearly 100 victims will give statements at the sentencing.
USA Gymnastics released a statement on December 2 regarding Maroney’s lawsuit against them.
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“USA Gymnastics learned today from media reports that McKayla Maroney has filed a lawsuit against it, the United States Olympic Committee and Michigan State University related to abuse by Larry Nassar. That filing apparently seeks to nullify provisions in a prior settlement agreement between USA Gymnastics and McKayla,” the statement read in part. “Contrary to reports, the concept of confidentiality was initiated by McKayla’s attorney, not USA Gymnastics. In 2016, McKayla’s attorney at the time, Gloria Allred, approached USA Gymnastics, requesting that the organization participate in a confidential mediation process. USA Gymnastics cannot speak to the mediation process, which is confidential and privileged under California law.”
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