Update!

Survivors of Larry Nassar Abuse Reach $380 Million Gymnastics Settlement

Survivors of convicted sex offender Larry Nassar reached a financial settlement of $380 million, according to a press release from USA Gymnastics.

By Mike Vulpo Dec 14, 2021 3:00 AMTags
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UPDATE: Survivors of former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, a convicted sex offender, have reached a financial settlement with USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. 

A bankruptcy court in Indiana officially confirmed a "Plan of Reorganization," according to a press release from the gymnastics organization on Dec. 13.

It includes a settlement with sexual abuse survivors, including a $380 million financial settlement, and a plan to get USA Gymnastics out of bankruptcy in the near future, per the release. The plan also offers "significant non-monetary commitments from USA Gymnastics focused on athlete safety and wellness."

"USA Gymnastics is deeply sorry for the trauma and pain that Survivors have endured as a result of this organization's actions and inactions," said Li Li Leung, USAG President and CEO, in a statement. "The Plan of Reorganization that we jointly filed reflects our own accountability to the past and our commitment to the future."

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USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement, "We are grateful to have reached a resolution with the athlete survivors. We have the deepest respect for the tremendous strength and bravery these women have shown. We recognize our role in failing to protect these athletes, and we are sorry for the profound hurt they have endured."

Former gymnast and survivor Rachael Denhollander tweeted that this chapter is now "finally closed." She explained that she is particularly "proud of the nonmonetary reform commitments" from the settlement, adding, "this represents so much hard work from members of the committee and I am eager to see these changes through." Fellow gymnast and activist Aly Raisman retweeted her statement.

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USA Gymnastics has proposed a $425 million settlement with more than 500 women who claim they were abused by Larry Nassar or someone else affiliated with the organization.

According to court documents obtained by E! News, the offer was filed on Tuesday, Aug. 31 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana. It's part of a reorganization plan that would allow USA Gymnastics to emerge from bankruptcy.

"Today, USA Gymnastics and the Survivors' Committee jointly filed a new proposed plan of reorganization in USA Gymnastics' Chapter 11 case," a spokesperson for USA Gymnastics said in a statement to E! News. "After extensive discussions, this plan has been jointly proposed by USA Gymnastics and the Committee, and it is supported by many of the involved insurers. We anticipate that this plan will be confirmed later this year and greatly appreciate all parties' efforts to get to this point."

But according to John Manly, who represents many survivors including Olympic champions Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, confirmation is not assured. 

"This proposal could lead to a settlement. However, whether that will happen is far from clear," Manly said in a statement to E! News. "The US Olympic & Paralympic Committee still refuses to accept any responsibility for its role in enabling Nassar. In addition to the financial portion the Survivors Committee is insisting that both usag/usopc undertake massive policy changes so this never happens to another child."

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Hundreds of women claim to have been sexually assaulted by Nassar, who served as a former doctor for USA Gymnastics.

Back in November 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The disgraced former doctor was later sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing girls under the guise of medical treatment. 

Prior to the sentencing, more than 150 survivors including Raisman and fellow Olympian McKayla Maroney came forward to personally deliver impact statements or have them read in court.

During his plea agreement, Nassar said he wants survivors and the community "to heal." The judge said she believed that process could happen only with Nassar behind bars.  

"I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars—thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood," Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said. "You were trained as a healer and what you did is harm them. You violated an oath that you took, which is to do no harm, and you harmed them, selfishly."

Following the sentence, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry expressed support for survivors. "I will not waiver on my commitment to focus each and every day on our organization's highest priority–the safety, health and well-being of our athletes," she said. "We will create a culture that empowers and supports them. Our commitment is uncompromising, and it is my hope that everything we do going forward makes this very clear."

This article was originally published on Sept. 1, 2021, at 10:54 a.m. PT and updated on Dec. 13, 2021, at 6:45 p.m. PT to reflect news of the settlement.

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