Amid continuing allegations from countless women against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, McKayla Maroney is telling her own story. The Olympic gold medalist took to Twitter as part of the #MeToo hashtag (which was launched by Alyssa Milano) and revealed that she was sexually abused by Team USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar beginning at age 13. This allegedly continued for seven years until Maroney’s retirement from gymnastics. Maroney’s account of one evening in particular is a harrowing one:
“Dr. Nassar told me that i was receiving “medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years. It started when I was 13 years old … and it didn’t end until I left the sport … the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old … He’d given me a sleeping pill for [a] flight, and the next thing I knew, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a “treatment.” I thought I was going to die that night.”
USA Today reports that, in addition to Maroney’s accusations, Nassar faces sexual assault allegations from over 140 women and girls. He’s currently on trial in Michigan for some of these charges, and the Washington Post has details on his pending federal sentence on child pornography charges. Altogether, his crimes could land him in prison for life.
On Twitter, Maroney also discussed the widespread problem of sexual assault (that goes unreported all too often) by those in positions of power:
“People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood. This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse. I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting.”
You can read Maroney’s full tweeted statement below.