In a Dateline interview on Sunday night, McKayla Maroney shared her story for the first time since the former Olympic doctor who sexually abused her, Larry Nassar, was sentenced to a lifetime in prison.
Maroney was one of the 265 girls and women who have spoken out against Nassar, and she admitted in this latest interview that she had actually spoken up about her abuse back in 2011. Maroney explained that after a particularly traumatizing experience with Nassar in Tokyo, she told her teammates and coach about what Nassar had done to her, but no one did anything about it.
The incident Maroney was referring to happened in October of 2011; she recalls waking up in a hotel room in Tokyo, naked, after being given sleeping pills by Nassar for her plane ride to the world championships. She was horrified to wake up and find Nassar on top of her. “I was bawling, naked on a bed, him on top of me, like fingering me. I thought I was going to die," Maroney told NBC News.
Maroney explained that she was hoping someone would, "see it in [her] that something really bad just happened to [her], that they would ask me." But when no one did, she came clean in the car ride back from training to the hotel where other gymnasts and USA Olympic coach John Geddert were present. Three people allegedly told NBC that they remember the conversation, but according to Maroney, Geddert did not react to the news, and one fellow gymnast even criticized Maroney for speaking of Nassar in that way. "She was probably as confused as me," Maroney said.
Maroney recounted her experiences of Nassar to the FBI when his investigation was finally initiated in 2015. It wasn't until the following year that Nassar was finally convicted, but Maroney is appalled that it took so long for action to be taken against him.
“I’m appalled, I’m disgusted. I’m so upset that this happened for so long when there were so many signs and red flags,” she said.
Nassar is now living out the rest of his days in prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges, all abuse-related. Other USA Gymnastics members, including Geddert, have since been suspended as well.