Saturday 23 February 2019

Chrissy Teigen offers to pay fine for gymnast to speak about abuse allegations

The model paved the way for others to come forward.

Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Chrissy Teigen and Kristen Bell have offered to pay a reported $100,000 (£72,454) fine to enable US gymnast McKayla Maroney to go public with allegations against her former team doctor, Larry Nassar.

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Nassar has been accused of multiple charges of sexual assault and nearly 100 victims are to address the court during a four-day sentencing hearing this week.

Maroney, who alleges she was abused by Nassar, signed a non-disclosure agreement last year which, according to reports, means she faces a fine if she speaks publicly about the allegations.

Terms of the agreement have not been revealed in court papers.

Teigen tweeted a picture of a news headline that read: “Revealed: McKayla Maroney faces $100k fine if she speaks at Larry Nassar sentencing after USA Gymnastics made her sign an NDA ordering her to stay quiet about abuse as part of her $1.25m settlement.”

The model and TV star wrote: “The entire principle of this should be fought – an NDA to stay quiet about this serial monster with over 140 accusers, but I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla.”

Following Teigen’s offer, actress Bell and the creator of TV show Parks And Recreation, Michael Schur, offered to share the cost of the fine with her.

Schur tweeted to Teigen: “I’ll split it with you.”

Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Bell responded: “I’ll 1/3 it with you guys.”

Maroney, 22, was a member of the US women’s gymnastics team known as the Fierce Five at the 2012 Olympics in London. She retired from competitive gymnastics in 2016.

Olympic gold medallists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman have also claimed they are victims of Nassar.

On Tuesday, gymnasts and other alleged victims of the ex-doctor took to the witness box in a Michigan courtroom to speak of their claims of sexual abuse and emotional trauma against Nassar.

Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty in November, admitting abusing females, mostly under the guise of treatment at his Michigan home and a campus clinic. All but one of his accusers was a gymnast.

He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes.

Press Association

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