Olympic gold medal-winners Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman are among more than 100 women abused by former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar who will receive part of the settlement
The sexual abuse victims of former United States national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar will receive $380million (£288million) after agreeing a settlement.
USA Gymnastics (USAG), the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and their insurers have agreed to pay the sum following a five-year legal case.
The settlement comes after former physician Nassar, 58, was sentenced to up to more than 300 years in prison in 2018 for molesting and sexually assaulting gymnasts placed in his care.
Nassar also plead guilty to charges of child pornography and tampering with evidence in 2017.
Olympic gold medal-winners Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney each testified against Nassar at a Senate committee hearing in September alongside Maggie Nichols, a former college star and Team USA contender.
SIPA USA/PA Images)
“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 John Manly, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in an Indianapolis court on Monday.
Nassar was first hired by USA Gymnastics as a trainer in 1986 before he was promoted to become the body’s medical coordinator in 1996.
He was also made an assistant professor at Michigan State University the following year and kept the position for almost 20 years despite repeated reports from gymnasts alleging abuse.
Along with the settlement money, it’s understood both USA Gymnastics and the Olympic Committee will hand seats on the board to survivors as a means to improve representation and avoid repeat occurrences.
Furthermore, USA Gymnastics has agreed to create a restorative justice programme, which will give survivors of Nassar’s abuse a more prominent voice in how the organisation handles future sexual abuse allegations.
Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse, and despite expressing her relief at Monday’s judgement, she warned the effects of Nassar’s actions will be felt for a long time.
“This chapter is finally closed. Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin. Whether or not justice comes, and change is made, depends on what happens next,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Justice has been done insofar as it can be, and it is good that we rejoice in that. But remember that tomorrow everyone wakes up still living the consequences. Don’t lose that reality in the midst of sober rejoicing in the truth.”
The Wall Street Journal was first to report news of the $380m settlement, adding that TiG Insurance have agreed to pay a large portion of that fee.
This most recent figure comes in addition to the $500million (£378million today) settlement that was reached in 2018 with Michigan State University, where Nassar was employed for almost two decades.
The combined $880million pay-out is understood to be the largest of its kind linked to a single perpetrator in a sexual assault case.
Attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel, who represents more than two dozen of Nassar’s victims, said: “This settlement is about the brave survivors who came forward, forced these organisations to listen, and demanded change.”
“Through this agreement, these survivors are finally being acknowledged and USAG and USOPC are being forced to change so that this sport can begin a new chapter.”