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USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will pay $380 million to the survivors of former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. In a yearslong lawsuit, USA Gymnastics also settled with other survivors of abuse by coaches and others involved in the sport.
“This chapter is finally closed,” said Rachel Denhollander, who told the Indianapolis Star in 2016 that she’d been abused by Nassar. More than 300 women, including Olympic champions Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney have said they were abused by Nassar, often under the guise of medical treatment.
Survivors of Nassar’s abuse were previously awarded $500 million in a lawsuit filed against Michigan State University, which also employed the convicted serial sexual abuser.
Nassar is currently in prison and is expected to serve the rest of his life behind bars.
Earlier this year, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols all shared their frustrations in front of a Congressional hearing in “a system that enabled and perpetrated [Nassar’s] abuse,” Biles said. “To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
“This settlement is the result of the bravery of hundreds of survivors who, despite legal obstacles, long odds and the best corporate legal talent money can buy, refused to be silent. The power of their story eventually won the day,” said attorney John Manly, who represented the plaintiffs.
Among the non-monetary agreements in the settlement is a requirement that USA Gymnastics creates a restorative justice program “that will give survivors significant influence over how the organization addresses sexual assault issues in the future.”
“Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin. Whether or not justice comes and change is made, depends on what happens next,” Denhollander wrote. “I am proud of the non-monetary reform commitments in particular – this represents so much hard work from members of the committee and I am eager to see these changes through.”