Michigan State President Disparaged Lawyers, Victim In Email

Jun 13, 2018

Emails show the interim president of Michigan State University criticized lawyers who represent Larry Nassar's assault victims and said a former gymnast was probably was getting a "kickback" from her attorney.

John Engler's remarks were made to a university lawyer in April, a month before Michigan State agreed to a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said they were assaulted by Nassar, a sports doctor. The Chronicle of Higher Education and Detroit Free Press reported on the emails Wednesday.

Engler said he thought victims were "being manipulated by trial lawyers" and that lawyers would get "millions of dollars more" than their clients.

Engler said he thought Rachael Denhollander was likely getting a kickback from her lawyer. She has been outspoken and in 2016 was the first to publicly say she was a Nassar victim.

Denhollander says Engler's comments reflect a "culture of abuse."