McKayla Maroney is the latest Larry Nassar victim to reveal that the pedophile doctor used food as part of his grooming process.
‘I think I would’ve starved at the Olympics if I didn’t have him bring me food,’ Maroney tells Savannah Guthrie in a preview for a special episode of Dateline airing on Sunday.
‘Your coaches are just always watching you. And wanting to keep you skinny,’ explained Maroney, before adding: ‘And there’s just other things about the culture that are also messed up that he used against us.’
When asked by Guthrie what exactly Nassar did, Maroney gleefully replied: ‘Buy me a loaf of bread.’
This was similar to remarks shared back in January by Nassar victims Jamie Dantzscher, Jeanette Antolin and Mattie Larson on The Story With Martha MacCallum.
Bread: McKayla Maroney reveals in an interview that will air this Sunday on Dateline that Larry Nassar groomed her by buying loaves of bread for her to eat (Maroney above on dateline)
Same story: Her claims were similar to ones made by Mattie Larson (left), Jeanette Antolin (right) and Jamie Dantzscher in a Fox News interview back in January
Disbelief: ‘Well, you know, we’d get up in the morning, and they would provide us food, if they had it,’ said Dantzscher (above). ‘I mean, they would search our bags for food. We weren’t allowed to bring food’
‘There’s other coaches right now abusing athletes. That’s why we keep talking about the whole culture, and the fact that it’s not just mental, physical and emotional abuse,’ explained Antolin.
‘That I’ve been to therapy – you know, years of therapy trying to deal with that side of the abuse. And when I realized there was sex abuse, I said: “Just add it to the list.” You know?’
The women also shared details about the culture at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas, where the national team would train.
‘Well, you know, we’d get up in the morning, and they would provide us food, if they had it,’ said Dantzscher.
‘I mean, they would search our bags for food. We weren’t allowed to bring food. Our parents were not allowed to go to the ranch. Usually, wake up and have breakfast. And we were not supposed to talk to each other at breakfast.’
MacCallum, again in a state of disbelief, asked why this was the rule.
‘It’s a distraction,’ said Mattie Larson.
‘Yes, exactly. They wanted us to be focused 100 per cent of the time. And I was afraid to – we weren’t allowed to talk, we weren’t allowed to smile. We weren’t allowed to talk to each other,’ said Dantzscher.
‘I was afraid to even say when I was really injured. And that was the other thing, I don’t even remember being able to tell my coaches or the national staff about my injuries.’
She later explained she was afraid that a reported injury would be met with the news that someone else had taken her spot on the team.
Dantzscher said because of this it was Nassar who the girls would tell about their injuries, and no one else.
It was also Nassar who, because of his own perversion, would allow the girls to compete while severely injured, which pleased the coaches.
Maroney also reveals in her Dateline interview that she was molested hundreds of times by Nassar beginning when she was just 13.
She says that Nassar sexually assaulted her every time she sought treatment from the disgraced doctor.
Maroney was in New York City to appear at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s seventh annual luncheon on Tuesday, where she also spoke about the abuse.
‘I at times question if my gymnastics career was really even worth it because of the stuff I’m dealing with now, because sometimes you’re just left in the dust,’ said Maroney.
‘You have to pick up the pieces of your life. That has been the hardest part for me, but it’s always three steps forward, two steps back.’
‘He told me he was going to do a check-up on me. That was the first day I was abused,’ said Maroney of Nassar.
The abuse was constant said Maroney, who later explained why she kept it a secret for so long.
‘He said that nobody would understand this, and the sacrifice it takes to get to the Olympics. You can’t tell people this,’ said Maroney.
‘And he didn’t say it in a way that was, like, mean or anything like that. I actually was like, that makes sense. I don’t want to tell anybody about this. And I didn’t believe that they would understand.’
She later added: ‘Doing what’s right is not always easy. But I need to speak up for the girls and for the future.’
Villain: She also says that Nassar sexually assaulted her during every single treatment she received starting when she was 13 (Maroney and Nassar above at the 2012 Games)
Maroney was in New York City to appear at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s seventh annual luncheon (seen above), where she also spoke about the abuse
The Gold-medal winning gymnast was not in attendance back in January for Nassar’s sentencing hearing, and so it fell to Angela Povilaitis from the district attorney’s office to deliver Maroney’s powerful words. Pictured on Tuesday at the luncheon in New York
McKayla is seen at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Luncheon Tuesday
The Gold-medal winning gymnast was not in attendance back in January for Nassar’s sentencing hearing, and so it fell to Angela Povilaitis from the district attorney’s office to deliver Maroney’s powerful words.
‘It all started when I was 13 or 14 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport,’ wrote Maroney of her abuse.
‘It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was “treated.” It happened in London before my team and I won the Gold medal, and It happened before I won my Silver Medal.’
The statement continued: ‘For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a “treatment.” I thought I was going to die that night.’
Maroney also made a point of calling out those who let Nassar thrive for so long.
‘How could have Larry Nassar been allowed to assault so many women and girls for more than two decades?’ she asked.
‘The answer to that question lies in the failure of not one, but three major institutions to stop him — Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee.’
Gymnast and Olympic Gold Medalist Jordyn Wieber, left, with speed skater Bridie Farrell, testifies Wednesday
Speedskater Bridie Farrell details her sexual abuse at the ahnds of a coach
She went on to say that these organizations had the power to stop Nassar, but chose to do nothing.
‘A simple fact is this. If Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee had paid attention to any of the red flags in Larry Nassar’s behavior I never would have met him, I never would have been “treated” by him, and I never would have been abused by him,’ wrote Maroney.
Then, just like her Fierce Five teammate Aly Raisman did earlier this week, Maroney made it clear that she wanted to see some accountability from the doctor’s enablers.
‘It is time to hold the leadership of Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee accountable for allowing, and in some cases enabling, his crimes,’ said Maroney.
‘Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it’s time to take our power back.’
There had been concern that she might not be able to share her statement without incurring a $100,000 fine as part of her 2016 settlement with USA Gymnastics which included a NDA that Maroney is now challenging in a lawsuit.
That all changed however thanks to massive public support for the gymnast after model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen posted a DailyMail.com headline on her Twitter account.
After reading that McKayla could be forced to pay USA Gymnastics for breaking her silence, Teigen said she would cover the expense for the sexual abuse victim.
That ultimately shamed the group into announcing its sudden change of heart.
‘USA Gymnastics has not sought and will not seek any money from McKayla Maroney for her brave statements made in describing her victimization and abuse by Larry Nassar, nor for any victim impact statements she wants to make to Larry Nassar at this hearing or at any subsequent hearings related to his sentencing,’ the organization said in a statement .
‘This has been her right and USA Gymnastics encourages McKayla and anyone who has been abused to speak out. USA Gymnastics remains focused on our highest priority — the safety, health and well-being of our athletes and creating a culture that empowers and supports them.’
Maroney, who was a member of the squad who took home Gold at the 2012 London Games, revealed in a lawsuit filed last month that she received $1.25 million from the organization in December 2016.
The two-time world-champion vaulter agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of the deal, which imposes a $100,000 fine should she ever speak about Nassar or the abuse she suffered at the heads of the disgraced doctor.
Victims: ‘I question if my gymnastics career was really worth it because of the stuff I’m dealing with now, because sometimes you’re just left in the dust,’ said Maroney (with fellow Nassar victims Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas and Ali Raismann)
Impact: Maroney, who won gold and silver at the 2012 London Games, was the second Olympian to come forward and reveal that she was molested by Nassar (Maroney’s impact statement being read in court in January)
Maroney, who was represented by Gloria Allred when she accepted that settlement, said that she was in desperate need of the money due to her deteriorating psychological state and need for treatment as a result of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Nassar.
She said at one point she was even thought about taking her own life.
Maroney is now suing USA Gymnastics – with her legal team arguing that it was illegal for USA Gymnastics to make Maroney sign a clause demanding her silence about her molestation.
Over 100 women are set to deliver impact statements by the end of the sentencing hearing, which began Tuesday and will now likely run through next week.
Maroney is one of four women who competed in the past two Olympic Games that have come forward to reveal they were molested by Nassar, along with Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas.
The athlete first broke the terms of her agreement with USA Gymnastics when she shared a post on her Twitter account back in October.
It was during the #MeToo campaign when Maroney shared her story, claiming Nassar began abusing her when she 13, and that the assaults did not stop until she left the sport just last year at the age of 20.
‘Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving “medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years”,’ Maroney said of her abuse in a social media post.
‘It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was “treated.” It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and It happened before I won my silver.’
Disgrace: Nassar is now serving the first of three sentences for the crimes he committed over her decades-long career (above in court in January)
Terror: On one occasion she said that Nassar gave her a sleeping pill on a flight to Tokyo and she awoke to find herself in a hotel room being assaulted
USA Gymnastics said that the settlement terms were not drawn up by their lawyers but rather by Maroney’s attorney.
‘Contrary to reports, the concept of confidentiality was initiated by McKayla’s attorney, not USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics cannot speak to the mediation process, which is confidential and privileged under California law,’ said USA Gymnastics in a statement.
‘The process culminated in a settlement agreement that included a mutual nondisclosure clause and a mutual nondisparagement clause.’
The US Olympic Committee and Nassar former employer, Michigan State University, are also named in the suit.
‘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,’ said the USOC, who claim they were not involved in the settlement.
‘I want people to understand that this kid had no choice. She couldn’t function. She couldn’t work,’ said Maroney’s attorney John Manly.
‘It takes tremendous courage to publicly disclose it, knowing that any day there could be a process server at her door.’