Michigan State Head Apologizes For Suggesting First Nassar Accuser Would Get Paid

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

Michigan State’s interim president apologized Thursday for suggesting that Larry Nassar’s first accuser would take a kickback from her lawyer.

Several Michigan politicians, two Michigan State trustees, and more than 100 accusers of serial child molester Larry Nassar want interim president John Engler to resign, reported The Washington Post.

“The survivors now are being manipulated by trial lawyers who in the end will each get millions of dollars more than any of [sic] individual survivors with the exception of [Rachel] Denhollander who is likely to get [sic] kickback from Manley [sic] for her role in the trial lawyer manipulation,” Engler wrote to Michigan State vice president Carol M. Viventi, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education(RELATED: Nassar Victims Call For Interim MSU President’s Resignation After Insulting Email Was Discovered)

Engler apologized for his remark eight days after The Chronicle’s article, saying that he was traveling in the intervening time and had not properly reflected on the revelation of his email to the public.

“That was a big mistake. I was wrong. I apologize,” the interim president said. “My speculation about the lead plaintiff receiving kickbacks or referral fees hurt her deeply and for that I am truly sorry. She and the other survivors suffered greatly and they are entitled not to have their sincerity questioned, either individually or as a group.”

But Denhollander criticized Engler’s delay, calling it “political manipulation” and pointing out that it came one day before a Michigan State board meeting.

The board is “clearly prioritizing something else above the safety of children and the safety of their students,” the Nassar accuser said. “I don’t know what they think is more important … but they clearly have something else in mind.”

Engler’s apology came a month after Michigan State’s settlement of lawsuits with 332 Nassar accusers. The school paid $500 million, with each victim receiving approximately $1.28 million and Michigan State reserving $75 million for those who may disclose their molestation by Nassar in the future.

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