Gloria Allred at center of dispute over USA Gymnastics nondisclosure agreement

High-profile attorney Gloria Allred now finds herself in a dispute over ...

Posted: Dec 22, 2017 12:52 PM
Updated: Dec 22, 2017 12:52 PM

High-profile attorney Gloria Allred now finds herself in a dispute over the nondisclosure agreement that allegedly bought gymnast McKayla Maroney's silence about sexual abuse by a USA Gymnastics doctor.

USAG, the sport's governing organization, said Allred initiated talks on the agreement. Maroney's new attorney confirms this, but claims Allred didn't draw up the agreement's language.

Allred, who has represented many women who say they were sexually abused by powerful men, has declined comment.

Attorney John Manly, who's now representing Maroney in a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, told CNN Thursday that attorneys for USA Gymnastics drafted the language of the strict nondisclosure agreement. He accused the organization of deceit for suggesting that Allred was behind it.

"This is not Gloria's fault, it is no one's fault but theirs," he said of USAG.

Manly said Allred drafted a letter proposing a monetary settlement to USAG because his client was "desperate" for money for psychological treatment following years of abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar.

"In December of 2016, after suffering for years from psychological trauma of her sexual abuse at the hands of Nassar, and in need of funds to pay for psychological treatment," Maroney was forced to enter into a confidential agreement with USA Gymnastics, states the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The complaint alleges USAG attempted to silence Maroney through the confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses of the agreement.

USAG said in a statement that they're disappointed by the filing and that they can't address the mediation itself because it's confidential.

Attorney: Gymnast's emotional state deteriorated

Manly said Maroney's emotional state had rapidly deteriorated to the point where she refused to leave her bedroom and her mother "was afraid she was going to ... find her dead."

At the time, he said, she was "desperate" and "suicidal" and unable to withstand the rigorous demands of court proceedings that would dredge up her past abuse.

The lawsuit alleges the confidentiality provision was forced upon Maroney so that "USAG could further conceal and shield from public scrutiny, outside investigation, and law enforcement, the true nature of Nassar's horrific sexual abuse of minors."

The suit said USAG had "a plan to keep the sexual abuse of Nassar quiet, and allow Nassar to quietly leave USAG, further silencing his victims."

The complaint also names as defendants Michigan State University, the US Olympic Committee and Nassar, who has admitted sexually abusing underage girls.

MSU spokesman Jason Cody said the university does not comment on ongoing litigation. Attorneys for Nassar did not return calls seeking comment.

Sentenced to 60 years

Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges earlier this month. In November, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and admitted to using his position to sexually abuse underage girls.

In a statement, USOC spokesman Mark Jones said the Olympic committee was not part of the settlement.

"We were first made aware of the possibility that a USA Gymnastics physician had sexually abused USA Gymnastics athletes in the summer of 2015 when we were informed by USA Gymnastics," the statement said. "At that time USA Gymnastics indicated that they were in the process of contacting the appropriate law enforcement agencies."

It continued, "We are heartbroken that this abuse occurred, proud of the brave victims that have come forward and grateful that our criminal justice system has ensured that Nassar will never be able to harm another young woman."

But USA Gymnastics said Allred, who represented Maroney at the time, approached the organization about a confidential mediation process.

"USA Gymnastics cannot speak to the mediation process, which is confidential and privileged under California law," the statement said.

"The process culminated in a settlement agreement that included a mutual nondisclosure clause and a mutual nondisparagement clause."

Allred representing Weinstein accuser

"Although USA Gymnastics is disappointed by today's filing, we applaud McKayla and others who speak up against abusive behavior -- including the despicable acts of Larry Nassar," the statement added. "We want to work together with McKayla and others to help encourage and empower athletes to speak up against abuse."

No other athletes who leveled accusations against the 54-year-old Nassar were asked or compelled to sign confidential settlement agreements, according to Stu Mollrich, a representative of the law firm behind Maroney's suit.

Mollrich said Maroney's case was the only one settled among the 106 accusers represented by Manly.

Last month, Allred filed a suit against The Weinstein Company on behalf of one of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's accusers.

Allred came under personal attack from former Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his wife for representing an Alabama woman who claims he sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager. Moore denied the allegation.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
Monroe9076108
Delaware8836132
LaPorte8771155
Howard7897138
Kosciusko787277
Warrick643890
Hancock638797
Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
Boone534367
Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
Dearborn458444
Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
DeKalb337363
Montgomery334851
Harrison328542
Knox327839
Miami309843
Steuben306340
Adams295235
Whitley294125
Wabash293045
Ripley292345
Putnam284847
Huntington283557
Jasper282433
White267538
Daviess261672
Jefferson250738
Fayette242348
Decatur242182
Greene233360
Posey232326
Wells229447
LaGrange224161
Clay217932
Scott216937
Randolph208340
Jennings192535
Sullivan189031
Spencer181917
Fountain179725
Washington177118
Starke171341
Jay162821
Owen159537
Fulton159229
Carroll152115
Orange151433
Rush149918
Perry147227
Vermillion144933
Franklin143433
Parke12908
Tipton128232
Pike113625
Blackford107522
Pulaski95237
Newton89421
Brown85530
Benton84310
Crawford7579
Martin70013
Warren6587
Switzerland6205
Union6113
Ohio4677
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
Hamilton61350439
Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
Warren18917139
Lorain18086212
Mahoning16758335
Lake15365135
Clermont15160104
Delaware1382177
Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
Marion7319113
Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
Erie5886118
Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
Putnam364672
Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
Fulton325943
Defiance319278
Crawford313268
Preble311534
Brown296619
Logan292729
Ottawa282134
Clinton279043
Williams270166
Highland262418
Jackson256943
Guernsey241725
Champaign240927
Fayette225529
Morrow22294
Perry221318
Holmes218662
Henry210247
Hardin204133
Coshocton197420
Van Wert196644
Gallia190926
Wyandot190549
Adams165615
Pike164116
Hocking163423
Carroll149516
Paulding139021
Noble117840
Meigs103221
Monroe95629
Harrison8568
Morgan79128
Vinton67113
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 20°
Angola
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 20°
Huntington
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 18°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Lima
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 19°
Seasonal Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events