Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney Says Team USA Doctor Repeatedly Molested Her
The gold medal-winning 21-year-old has accused Dr. Larry Nassar of repeatedly molesting her under the guise of administering "treatment."
Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney says she was repeatedly molested by embattled Team USA doctor Larry Nassar, beginning when she was just 13 years old.
As women of Hollywood continue to reveal their own tales of sexual misconduct in the glare of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the 21-year-old gymnast has joined more than 100 other Team USA members by accusing Nassar of abuse.
Read: Alyssa Milano's #MeToo Campaign Prompts Thousands to Share Sexual Harassment and Assault Stories
"People should know this is not just happening in Hollywood," Maroney wrote in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter. "Dr. Nassar told me I was receiving 'medically necessary treatment' that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years."
Maroney said the disturbing encounters began at a team training camp in Texas when she was 13.
"It didn't end until I left the sport," Maroney said.
As the years went on, Maroney said the abuse intensified and came to a head one night two years after the alleged abuse began.
"For me, the scariest night of my life was when I was 15 years old," she wrote. "I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. 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," Maroney added.
Nassar has been accused of sexually molesting at least 140 girls and women over the course of decades as a physician. He is currently on trial in Michigan, where he faces sexual abuse charges and awaits sentencing on federal charges.
Nassar has denied all allegations of sexual abuse.
Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges in July and is due to be sentenced in that case on Dec. 7.
"Things have to change... but how do we begin?" asks Maroney, who suggests people could start by speaking out about sexual assault and forcing institutions and the powerful to be held accountable.
Read: Former Miramax Exec Recalls Her Time Working for Harvey Weinstein
In bravely revealing her story, Maroney seems prepared to be the answer to some of her own questions.
Is it possible to put an end to this type of abuse? It is possible for survivors to speak out, without putting careers and dreams in jeopardy? I hope so," she wrote. "Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long and it's time to take our power back."
Watch: 'Underworld' Actress Kate Beckinsale Recalls Creepy Harvey Weinstein Encounter When She Was Just 17
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