Figure Skater Says Partner Abused Her for 2 Years

'I'm sorry but john hurt at least 10 people including me'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2019 5:08 AM CDT
Updated May 21, 2019 6:42 AM CDT
Former Skater Accuses Dead Pairs Partner of Sexual Abuse
US pairs Caydee Denney and John Coughlin perform during their ice dance short program at the 2012 World Figure skating Championships in Nice, southern France, Wednesday, March 28, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

A former pairs partner of a figure skater who killed himself in January says he sexually abused her for years—and she wasn't the only one. Bridget Namiotka partnered with John Coughlin from 2004 to 2007, starting when she was 14 and he was 18, USA Today reports. "I’m sorry but john hurt at least 10 people including me. He sexually abused me for 2 years. Nobody innocent hangs themself," Namiotka, 29, wrote in a Facebook post Sunday. "Grooming happens. It happened to me and he hurt a lot of girls. Think about the victims," she said in another post. Coughlin, 33, was found dead the day after he was suspended from activities associated with US Figure Skating amid allegations of sexual abuse.

Attorney John Manly confirmed that Namiotka wrote the posts. He said he is representing her and two other women who say Coughlin abused them as minors. Earlier this year, he told USA Today: "My clients and I want to make this clear: John Coughlin used his position of trust and power and prominence in figure skating to sexually abuse multiple minors, three of whom I represent." When USA Today asked Tara Modlin, Coughlin's former agent, for comment, she described Namiotka as "unstable" and suggested the newspaper speak to some of Coughlin's other partners. (Eleven days before his Jan. 18 death, Coughlin said SafeSport rules prevented him from speaking freely about the "unfounded" allegations.)

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