Gold-medalist McKayla Maroney shares in a new interview that Dr. Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her in a Tokyo hotel room when she was just 15.
McKayla Maroney sat down for an interview with Dateline where she explained the traumatic incident in which she first discovered that Larry Nassar‘s behavior was horribly unethical. It happened in a hotel in Tokyo in 2011; the Olympian claims the doctor gave her a sleeping pill on the plane and the next thing she remembers was him assaulting her in a hotel room. “I was bawling, naked on a bed, him on top of me, like fingering me. I thought I was going to die,” the now-22-year-old told Savannah Guthrie, via The Daily Mail. “I didn’t feel like it was him anymore. It was this other thing that took over. The dark part of him… [It] was very, very hard for me to acknowledge the fact that…this was not treatment. I was being abused,” she stated in a preview for the interview.”
She explained in the interview that the next day she was desperate talk about the horrific experience — but she didn’t know how. “I remember waking up the next day and wanting to tell someone — and hoping that someone would see it in my eyes that something really bad just happened to me, that they would ask me,” she said. “I just said, ‘Last night, it was like Larry was fingering me,”’ McKayla said she told individuals on her team. “I said this loud.” She explained that those present gasped at the revelation but one gymnast would not listen.
Now, despite being a gold-medalist, McKayla wonders if she should have ever pursued gymnastics considering to the abuse she endured. “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. 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.”
Nassar has been sentenced to 175 years in prison for her sexually assaulting over 150 victims. McKayla’s interview will air on Dateline on Sunday, April 22, at 7 p.m. EST on NBC.