McKayla Maroney: Larry Nassar Molested Me First Day We Met

And 'hundreds' of times after that, she says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2018 1:23 PM CDT
McKayla Maroney Speaks Out on Larry Nassar Abuse
McKayla Maroney, center, arrives to make her first public remarks as the featured speaker at the 2018 Spring luncheon of The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC), Tuesday April 17, 2018, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

McKayla Maroney is detailing her abuse at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar for the first time in an interview with Savannah Guthrie set to air Sunday on Dateline. On the first day she met Nassar, when she was 13 years old, "He told me he was going to do a checkup on me and that was the first day I was abused," Maroney says in a preview of the sit-down. He went on to molest her "every time" she saw him, she says, noting that it amounted to "hundreds" of instances over five years. Nassar admitted in court he penetrated his patients under the guise of medical treatment. "He said that nobody would understand this and the sacrifice that it takes to get to the Olympics. So you can't tell people this," she says. "I actually was like, 'That makes sense. I don't want to tell anybody about this.' I didn't believe that they would understand."

On Tuesday, Maroney spoke publicly for the first time since revealing she was among Nassar's victims, the AP reports. "I at times question if my gymnastics career was really even worth it," she said while speaking to the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. "Because of the stuff I'm dealing with now. You have to pick up the pieces of your life and that has been the hardest part for me. It's always three steps forward, two steps back." She also slammed the institutions that didn't protect Nassar's victims, among them USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee, and Michigan State University, where Nassar had a sports medicine practice, NBC notes. Sunday's Dateline will also include interviews with other gymnasts and their parents as well as gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, who have not yet spoken publicly about the sexual abuse scandal. (More McKayla Maroney stories.)

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