Sports

Olympic Star Gymnast McKayla Maroney Says She Was Molested By A Team USA Doctor

by Tod Perry

October 19, 2017

Over the weekend, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a call-out to victims of sexual abuse “so we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

The original #MeToo movement was started 10 years ago by Tarana Burke to help young women of color who had survived sexual abuse, assault, and exploitation. Milano brought it back to prominence after countless women had publicly admitted to being sexually assaulted by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Social media was soon flooded with responses by women everywhere. The movement inspired two-time Olympic medalist, McKayla Maroney, to tweet her story of abuse. Maroney alleges she was sexually assaulted by former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar as early as age 13. 

“Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years,’” Maroney wrote. “It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn't end until I left the sport. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’”

According to Maroney, the most frightening moment came was when she was allegedly drugged by the doctor and woke up next to him in a hotel room. “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.”

Now 21, the star gymnast from the 2012 London games believes that by speaking out she can inspire others to overcome the abuse they’ve experienced. “Silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it’s time to take our power back,” she wrote. Over 120 women are suing Nassar for alleged sexual assault, although it’s unclear if Maroney is involved. Nassar is currently in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges.

Share image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

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