Lawsuit: USA Gymnastics paid McKayla Maroney hush money over sexual abuse

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Maroney is one of three Fierce Five members who have come forward with allegations against Larry Nassar. Getty Images

USA Gymnastics paid former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney to keep her silent about sexual abuse from Dr. Larry Nassar, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Maroney this week.

According to Maroney's attorney, John Manly, USA Gymnastics gave Maroney $1.25 million to convince her to sign a confidentiality agreement in 2016. That agreement served as a concerted effort to keep Maroney from going public about being sexually abused by Nassar, who served as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics for more than two decades.

The lawsuit says that Maroney, who was 21 years old at the time, willingly signed the agreement, but because she essentially had no other choice.  

"I want people to understand that this kid had no choice. She couldn't function. She couldn't work," Manly said. "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."

The actions of USA Gymnastics, which Manly calls a "systematic cover-up," bought Maroney's silence at a time when she was emotionally traumatized. She has since come forward and gone public with claims against Nassar, as have two of her Fierce Five teammates (Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas) and over 130 women in total. 

Nassar, 52, has since pleaded guilty to charges of child pornography (for which he received a 60-year sentence earlier this month) and seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Three of those charges applied to victims under 13, and three applied to victims 13 to 15 years old.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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