McKayla Maroney prepared to go to trial against USA Gymnastics

American gymnastics star McKayla Maroney was completely broken.

After suffering what Maroney claims was years-long sexual abuse at the hands of former USA Gymnastics (USAG) team physician Dr. Larry Nassar – “It started when I was 13 years old,” Maroney posted on her Facebook page last October – the 2012 London Olympics gold medal-winning gymnast signed a confidential settlement in December 2016 with USAG, the sport’s national governing body.

“In light of her worsening condition, and desperate need for psychological intervention, the Plaintiff McKayla Maroney entered into this agreement to obtain funds necessary to pay for lifesaving psychological treatment and care,” reads part of the explosive civil lawsuit Maroney filed against USAG, Nassar, Michigan State University, the U.S. Olympic Committee and 500 other individual anonymous defendants last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Maroney’s attorneys allege in the lawsuit that the now 22-year-old former Olympian was “forced” to sign the confidential agreement, and that USAG did so to buy Maroney’s silence and keep her from going public with the allegations about Nassar.

“The reason is (USA Gymnastics) wanted to keep it quiet,” says one of Maroney’s lawyers, Vince Finaldi. “They knew that (Maroney) was probably one of the most powerful voices that can blow this whole thing up, and how prominent a figure she was in gymnastics. They basically tried to gag her.”

McKayla Maroney at the 2012 Olympics
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McKayla Maroney at the 2012 Olympics
McKayla Maroney of the U.S. gestures after competing in the vault during the women's gymnastics qualification in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT GYMNASTICS)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: (L-R) Members of the Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. Women's Gymnastics team Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross attend The Cinema Society with Circa and Alice & Olivia screening of 'Sparkle' After Party at the Soho Grand Hotel on August 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: Kyla Ross, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber of the 2012 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic Gold Medal Team ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on August 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas on August 9, 2012 -- (Photo by: Warrick Page/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney arrives to light The Empire State Building on August 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
US gymnast Mckayla Maroney (C), Alexandra Raisman (R) and Kyla Ross (L) react during the women's team of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. Team US won gold, Team Russia took silver and Team Romania got bronze. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/GettyImages)
US gymnast Gabrielle Douglas (C), Mckayla Maroney (2D-R), Alexandra Raisman (R) and Kyla Ross (3D-R) celebrate winning gold in the women's team of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. Team US won gold, Team Russia took silver and Team Romania got bronze. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/GettyImages)
McKayla Maroney of the United States lept off the vault apparatus apparatus during women's team gymnastics finals at North Greenwich Arena during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. The United States won the gold medal in the event. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
The United States women's gymnastics team of (center podium, left to right) Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman (partially obscured) and Kyla Ross listened to the National Anthem during victory ceremonies at North Greenwich Arena during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: (L-R) Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Alexandra Raisman, and Gabrielle Douglas of the United States listen to Martha Karolyi, the team coordinator during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Training Academy on July 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - MAY 14: Gymnast, McKayla Maroney, poses for a portrait during the 2012 Team USA Media Summit on May 14, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - MAY 14: Gymnast, McKayla Maroney, poses for a portrait during the 2012 Team USA Media Summit on May 14, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - JULY 01: McKayla Maroney during practice before the start of day 4 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on July 1, 2012 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LONDON - JULY 31: (From 3D-L) US gymnasts Gabrielle Douglas, Mckayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman, coach John Geddert, Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross celebrate winning gold in the women's team of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. Team US won gold, Team Russia took silver and Team Romania got bronze. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 29: McKayla Maroney competes on the uneven bars during day 2 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on June 29, 2012 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 29: McKayla Maroney competes on the uneven bars during day 2 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on June 29, 2012 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Dozens of women have come forward accusing Nassar of sexual abuse, including Maroney’s 2012 Olympic teammate, Aly Raisman. Nassar was already sentenced last month to 60 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. Nassar, 54, also pleaded guilty in November in Michigan state court to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and he will be sentenced this month on those charges.

After Maroney went public with her claims about Nassar on social media, she filed the lawsuit two months later. The lawsuit describes in detail the alleged sexual abuse Nassar inflicted upon Maroney for years, and how Nassar allegedly molested Maroney before her medal-winning performances in 2012 at the London Olympics. But despite disclosing her ordeal and accusing Nassar of the serial abuse on Facebook, Maroney was within her rights to go public with the claims, says Finaldi.

USAG, according to Maroney’s lawsuit, was in violation of California law, specifically Section 1002 of the California Code of Civil Procedure.

“If the underlying circumstances of an offense constitute a felony child sexual event, then confidential settlement agreements are void as a matter of law. The legislature spoke very clearly to this issue. You can write whatever you want into a settlement, but if it’s against statute that’s right on point, then that provision is void as a matter of law, and unenforceable,” says Finaldi.

Noted civil rights attorney Glora Allred represented Maroney when she signed the confidential settlement, and noted attorney Margaret Holm was USAG’s counsel at the time. But it’s unclear why neither Allred nor Holm/USAG went forward with a confidential arrangement when it was in violation of California law. Maroney reportedly received $1.25 million in the settlement.

“The notion (Holm/USAG) would have not known about (the statute) is not believable. I know for a fact that they would have known about that,” says Finaldi. “The question is why they would do that. The reason why is they wanted to keep it quiet.”

High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing dozens of women, including a number of well-known celebrities, over the past several decades.

(REUTERS/Gus Ruelas)

Matt Lauer was fired from 'Today' after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct that allegedly included giving a co-worker a sex toy and dropping his pants in front of a female employee in his office.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual assault by two women from the Amazon series, "Transparent."  

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Eleven women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

 CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves resigned from the company, the company said on Sunday, amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

(Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx)

Sen. Al Franken is accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Director Woody Allen has been accused of sexual assault by his daughter, Dylan Farrow. She says she experienced inappropriate behavior by her adoptive father on several occasions.

(REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

Hundreds of women accused longtime Hollywood writer and director James Toback of sexual harassment.


Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of forcing women to watch him masturbate, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Director Bret Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 years old.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Roger Ailes, the former president of Fox News Channel, was accused of sexually harassing former anchor Gretchen Carlson and several other women from the network.

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Several women accused TV host Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, including groping and lewd phone calls.

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Bill Cosby has faced sexual assault allegations from about 60 women, including several women who claim he drugged them.

(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

Four women, including several that were also fellow Scientologists, have accused actor Danny Masterson of sexual assault, according to HuffPost.

 (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Mark Schwahn, the former "One Tree Hill" showrunner, was accused of sexual harassment by a large number of the show's cast and crew.

(Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)

Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

(REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)

Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Actor Casey Affleck settled lawsuits out of court wth two women who accused him of sexual harassment.  

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Film Independent)

Bill O'Reilly has reportedly made numerous settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic congressman was sentenced to 21 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting a teenage girl.


Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing women while he worked at ABC News.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Singer R. Kelly is accused of holding women against their will in houses in Illinois and Georgia in a reported 'sex cult.'

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Former Fox Host Eric Bolling was accused of sending unsolicited lewd text messages to female colleagues.

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Director Roman Polanski fled the US after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Several other women have also come forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

(REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

Chef John Besh stepped down from the company he founded after female employees reported facing sexual harassment there. 

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photographer Terry Richardson was labeled the 'Harvey Weinstein of Fashion' by the Sunday Times amid widespread accusations of sexual harassment by models.

(Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage)

Singer Kesha accused Lukasz Gottwald aka Dr. Luke of drugging and sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.

(Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

Former champion boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a Miss Black America contestant in 1992. 

(REUTERS/Michael Clevenger/POOL)

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by dozens of his former patients and athletes.


Music mogul L.A. Reid left his position as Epic Records CEO/Chairman in 2017 amid harassment claims by a female assistant.

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price resigned following reports that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress' allegation of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein.

(Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)

Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

Chris Savino (right), creator of  'The Loud House' was suspended by Nickelodeon after being accused of making unwanted advances toward multiple women.

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SCAD)

Actor Steven Seagal was accused of sexual misconduct by Inside Edition's chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images,)

Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director of National Public Radio, was accused of inappropriate conduct with two women in 1990s.

(REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad)

Dustin Hoffman was accused of sexually harassing a production assistant when he was 48 and she was a high school senior.

(REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)

Jeremy Piven was accused by actress Ariane Bellamar of groping her on two separate occasions. Piven 'unequivocally' denied the allegations.

(REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Ben Affleck apologized for acting 'inappropriately' towards Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live" in 2003.

(REUTER/Dylan Martinez

Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman he went on a date with.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Andy Dick was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct on set, including groping people’s genitals, unwanted kissing/licking and sexual propositions.

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, (D) Nevada, was accused of making repeated, unwanted propositions for dates and sex to a woman that once worked on his campaign.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Actor Ed Westwick was accused by actress Kristina Cohen of raping her in his home.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

David Guillod, producer of 'Atomic Blonde,' is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several woman.

(Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)

Andrew Kreisberg, the showrunner for "Supergirl," was suspended in November 2017 amid numerous sexual harassment allegations by members of his staff.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Actor Tom Sizemore was reportedly told to leave a film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals.

(REUTERS/Phil McCarten)

Steve Jurvetson left his own venture capital firm after allegations of sexual harassment

(Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

A former model accused George Takei of sexually assaulting him 36 years ago.

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/FilmMagic)

Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulted her at an award ceremony in 2013.

(REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

A former writer for 'Mad Men' said the show's creator Matthew Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Ron Jeremy has been accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women and the allegations span more than 30 years.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Multiple women accused producer Adam Fields of touching them inappropriately and sexually propositioning them.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

(Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, was accused of crossing the line with employees, including unwanted hugs.

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Singer Nick Carter was accused of rape by a former member of the all-girl teen band Dream, Melissa Schuman.

(Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

A singer accused billionaire Richard Branson of sexual assault during an event as his Necker Island in the Caribbean. Branson says he has no recollection of the matter.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Talent agent Adam Venit is accused of grabbing actor Terry Crews' genitals.

(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez), Marilyn Manson former longtime bassist, was accused of rape by singer Jessicka Addams.

(Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)

Lockhart Steele, Vox Media's editorial director was fired after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment.

(Photo by Hal Horowitz/WireImage for Haute Magazine)

Producer Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein's brother, has also been accused of sexual harassment. 

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

Jesse Lacey of  the band, Brand New, was accused of sexual misconduct, including soliciting nude photos from a teen girl in the past.

(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns)

Senior Correspondent for E! News Ken Baker California was accused of sexual harassment by two women.

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

American film director Oliver Stone was accused of groping model and actress Carrie Stevens in the 1990s.

(Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)

Reporter Glenn Thrush was suspended by the New York Times after several women accused him of acting inappropriately when they were young journalists.

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Veteran radio host Garrison Keillor was fired by Minnesota Public Radio following claim of improper behavior.

(Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)

CNN producer Teddy Davis was fired after multiple accusations of harassment.

(Photo via Twitter)

Producer Russell Simmons stepped down from his companies following sexual assault and harassment accusations from two women.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Longtime conductor James Levine was suspended by New York's Metropolitan Opera after sexual abuse claims.

(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)

Dylan Howard, editor in chief of the National Enquirer, was accused of sexual misconduct by several former employees, including forcing them to watch porn and openly discussing his sexual partners.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

"X-Men" director Bryan Singer was accused of raping a 17-year-old boy on a yacht in a lawsuit filed in December.

(REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

Harold Ford, Jr.

(Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Chef Mario Batali has been accused by multiple women of "inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades."

(Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley's show was suspended amid misconduct allegations made against him.

(REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb was fired from his job as an ESPN contributor amid accusations of sexual harassment by a wardrobe stylist at the network.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Sen. Jeff Klein (D-New York), was accused of forcibly kissing a former female staffer back in 2015. 

(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)

Ross Levinsohn, Los Angeles Times CEO and publisher, has reportedly been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and would rate the "hotness" of his female colleagues, according to a report by NPR.

(Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman accused magician David Copperfield of drugging, sexually assaulting her when she was teen model in the 80s, according to The Wrap.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

James Franco was accused by several women of sexually inappropriate behavior. He was also criticized for wearing a "Time's Up" pin to the Golden Globes hours before the accusations against him surfaced.

(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Barry Lubin, also known as Grandma the clown, resigned from Big Apple Circus after admitting to pressuring a 16-year-old girl into posing for pornographic photos in 2004.

(Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Arizona Wildcats head football coach Rich Rodriguez was fired amid troubling off-field allegations. His former administrative assistant says Rodriguez inappropriately grabbed and touched her. 

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was accused of sexual assault by pro-Trump singer Joy Villa. She claims he hit her on the buttocks during an event at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of peple. The Wall Street Journal the casino mogul regularly pressured employees to perform sex acts.

(REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Music exec and 'The Four' judge Charlie Walk was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee. Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith penned an open letter about Walk in January claiming he sent her lewd comment and cornered her in the bedroom he shared with his wife.

(Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Vh1 Save The Music)

Several women filed sexual harassment complaints against Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle, according to the Washington Post.

(Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Actor Scott Baio, was accused of molesting is former 'Charles in Charge' co-star Nicole Eggert when she was a minor.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Paris Dennard, GOP commentator

(Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ryan Adams performs at the Marriott Rewards and Universal Music Present Music is Universal during the South by Southwest Music Festival at JW Marriott Austin on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP)

Allred declined comment. USA Gymnastics released a statement to the Daily News which said: "Contrary to what is alleged in the lawsuit recently filed by McKayla Maroney's new attorneys and being reported in the media, the assertion that USA Gymnastics entered into an illegal settlement with McKayla, or caused her to do so, is false.

"In fact, Gloria Allred, McKayla’s attorney at the time, initiated a private confidential mediation process, without any civil action pending, for resolution of her claim in 2016. Although USA Gymnastics cannot speak about the specifics of the mediation process, which is confidential under California law, the process culminated in a settlement agreement that included a mutual non-disclosure clause and a mutual non-disparagement clause," the USAG statement said. "At all times, McKayla was represented by a California-based firm, known for championing the rights of victims of sexual abuse and harassment, that actively negotiated and approved the settlement agreement signed by McKayla."

USAG condemned the "despicable crimes" committed by Nassar and praised Maroney and others for coming forward to speak publicly about their past.

“I think the confidentiality aspect is unenforceable, and therefore, they should be able to come back into court for all the legal theories they list,” says Marci Hamilton, an attorney and the chief executive officer of CHILD USA, a think tank to prevent child abuse and neglect.

“(Maroney’s attorneys) have a strong argument on the duty that was owed to her as a result of federal law. And they have a strong argument to say that the confidentiality provisions are unenforceable,” adds Hamilton. “What’s left open is how the original payment ($1.25 million) would play into a new settlement.”

Finaldi, however, says that while a settlement with USAG is a possibility, he and colleague John Manly, another of Maroney’s attorneys, are fully prepared to go to trial. If Maroney’s legal action takes that route, USAG, the USOC and Michigan State, where Nassar was employed, would be open to scrutiny through the discovery process.

“Settlement is always a possibility with any case,” says Finaldi. “The two most important things going forward are that we’re trying to get answers to questions our clients have, and to seek compensation for the victims. We reached out to the other side, and they’re steadfast in their position. We can go this route, which we’re very comfortable with.”

Maroney’s lawsuit alleges sexual harassment, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, constructive fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and demands a jury trial. Maroney seeks unspecified damages.

Raisman wrote a powerful first-person account of her ordeal in The Players’ Tribune in early December. The essay was entitled, “This is Survival,” and it followed Maroney’s harrowing account on Facebook in October.

“For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old,” Maroney wrote in her Facebook post. “I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. (Nassar) had given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.”

Maroney’s lawsuit alludes to the alleged incident in Tokyo and says that Nassar closed the “treatment room door,” and then “proceeded to insert his hand into the vagina and anus of McKayla Maroney.”

“No one -- the USOC, USAG, MSU – has stepped up to the plate to say what they knew, when they knew it, how they knew, or to release any documents,” says Finaldi. “Turns out they did know.”

The USAG said in a statement to The News that the organization "has and will continue to take specific and concrete steps to prevent future abuse by adopting and vigorously enforcing the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy, which requires mandatory reporting, defines six types of misconduct, sets standards to prohibit grooming behavior and prevent inappropriate interaction, and establishes greater accountability."

Among some other measures taken by USAG have been to establish a toll-free number – 1-833-844-SAFE – as well as the safe sport email address ( to make it easier for individuals to report abuse.

"We are focused on further developing a culture that has safe sport as a top priority throughout the organization," USAG said.

But with powerful people in all fields - politics, entertainment, sports - being felled by accusations of sexual assault, rape and harassment, and with victims buoyed to come forward and speak in the midst of the burgeoning #MeToo movement, a reckoning among powerful institutions may occur as well.

“It was standard practice that organizations would force these confidentiality agreements in the past. There was such shame by victims, and they were led down a primrose path to accept confidentiality as far as a settlement,” says Hamilton. “But in the #MeToo era, for the victim, confidentiality is now an insult. In that (past) era, the victims were still being treated like they shouldn’t talk in a public square. People in power were playing on the humiliation and shame of it to keep all the secrets.”

Finaldi says that Maroney is not doing any media interviews, and probably won’t be for some time.

“The most important thing is making sure she’s safe, and has good psychiatric care,” says Finaldi. “These type of serial abuses don’t happen unless there are fundamental problems with the way (organizations) are doing business. The most important goal is to make sure those things are fixed. But until we have the answer of what went wrong, we can’t begin to answer the question of how to fix it.”

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