LOS ANGELES (CBS4/AP) — Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney says the group that trains U.S. Olympic gymnasts forced her to sign a confidential settlement to keep allegations of sexual abuse by the team’s doctor secret.
Maroney filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics. The suit also seeks damages from Michigan State University, where the team’s doctor, Larry Nassar, worked for decades.
The lawsuit alleges that the settlement was illegal and “for the purpose of silencing a known victim of Nassar.”
Maroney says she accepted the settlement in December 2016 after “years of psychological trauma” and sexual abuse.
The terms weren’t disclosed in court papers but The Wall Street Journal reports that Maroney was paid $1.25 million.
Maroney’s lawyer told ESPN she violated the confidentiality agreement in October by tweeting about her experiences with Nassar.
“It started when I was 13 years old… and it didn’t end until I left the sport,” ESPN quoted her as stating.
“For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old,” Maroney wrote. “He’d 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.”
Nassar admitted he molested gymnasts but plans to appeal a 60-year federal prison sentence on child pornography charges.
Investigators found over 37,000 images of child porn on Nassar’s electronic devices in 2016.
The 54-year-old was sentenced earlier this month in federal court in Grand Rapids to three 20-year sentences.
He’s pleaded guilty to molesting gymnasts with his hands in the Lansing, Michigan, area under the guise of treatment. He awaits sentencing in two counties in those cases starting in January.
More than 140 women and girls have come forward accusing Nassar of sexual abuse, including Olympic athletes.
Nassar has said he has an addiction.
USA Gymnastics didn’t immediately comment.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)