USA Gymnastics lifts gag order on McKayla Maroney after Chrissy Teigen calls them out

USA Gymnastics has lifted the gag order against former Olympian McKayla Maroney. Now, she can speak out about the abuse that she suffered at the hands of doctor Larry Nassar without facing a $100,000 fine.

The fine came as part of a lawsuit that she settled in 2016 against USA Gymnastics. As part of the $1.25 million agreement, she signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), which would require her to pay $100,000 if she spoke out about her abuse.

But now, as Nassar faces a growing number of accusations of abuse and molestation, the public is questioning why a victim would be forced to stay quiet.

Chrissy Teigen offers to pay the fine

The NDA specifically came to light when Chrissy Teigen blasted it as another way to silence victims.

“The entire principle of this should be fought,” Teigen wrote on Twitter. “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.”

The bold and generous offer set the internet on fire and inspired other celebrities to offer their support.

Maroney was shocked by the support, according to the Daily Mail.

I’m shocked by your generosity, and I just want you to know how much hope your words bring to all of us! I just can’t get over the fact that someone I don’t personally know is sticking up for me, let alone a strong women that I’ve looked up to for years!” she said.

USA Gymnastics responds

Finally, on Tuesday, USA Gymnastics spoke out, releasing a statement promising not to impose a fine if Maroney told her story.

“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,” they 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’s attorney John Manly disagreed with the organization’s characterization of events, however, saying, “They say McKayla has ‘always had the right to speak.’ Not true. Under the agreements terms she could not speak in court unless subpoenaed.”

LANSING, MI – JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar appears in court to listen to victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Nassar says he “mentally” can’t handle it

Currently, 88 women are expected to read victim impact statements this week as Nassar’s sentencing goes on.

According to Fox 2 Detroit, Nassar asked a judge if the testimonies could stop because he was “very concerned about my ability to be able to face witnesses the next four days, mentally.”

The judge reportedly responded saying, “Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you had at their expense and ruining their lives.”