UPDATED 12:51 PM PT – Wednesday, December 15, 2021
The USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have agreed to a $380 million payout to the sexual abuse survivors of Larry Nassar.
On Monday, an Indianapolis Federal Bankruptcy Court confirmed the settlement of more than 500 survivors against the former team doctor. The settlement also agreed to designate some of the board seats of the U.S. Gymnastics and Paralympic Committee to survivors aimed at protecting athletes from further abuse.
This comes six years after criminal charges were brought against Nassar. After the settlement was announced, gymnast Rachel Denhollander expressed her feelings on Twitter, saying “this chapter is finally closed, now rebuilding can begin.”
The attorney for several of the victims said in a statement that an excellent settlement for the survivors was reached and every American should be proud of the women who spoke out. The suit covered claims brought by Nassar’s most high-profile sexual abuse victims.
The survivors include Olympic Gold Medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney. The three women testified during a Senate hearing in September, blasting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Olympic officials for not taking the abuse seriously.
And it was not resolved by only Nassar survivors. An important member of the fiduciary committee who has worked tirelessly on this process is a survivor of a former prominent coach, and this all started with survivors of coach abuse who spoke to the Indy Star.
— Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) December 13, 2021
Biles became emotional during the hearing, saying she not only blames Nassar, but also the Olympic organization.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse. USA Gymnastics and its Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge,” stated Biles.
Raisman recalled the FBI ignoring her plea to be interviewed about the abuse she endured.
“It disgusts me that we are still fighting the most basic answers and accountability over six years later,” said Raisman. “The FBI failed to interview pertinent parties in a timely manner. It took over 14 months for the FBI to contact me, despite my many requests to be interviewed by them.”
Maroney then recalled the night she first talked to the FBI about what Nassar had done to her.
“I then told the FBI about Tokyo, the day he gave me a sleeping pill for the plane ride, to then work on me later that night. That evening I was naked, completely alone, with him on top of me…molesting me for hours,” Maroney stated. “I told them I thought I was going to die that night because there was no way he would let me go, but he did. I told them I walked the halls of the Tokyo hotel at 2 a.m. at only 15-years-old. I began crying at the memory over the phone and there was just dead silence.”
Nassar was the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team doctor for 18 years. In 2018, he was sentenced up to 175 years in prison for molesting female gymnasts under his care.