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Counsel to Michigan State president says it's 'false news' that victim was offered payout

Kaylee Lorincz (middle) said Friday that MSU’s interim president offered her a secret payout. (Mike Clark/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

An attorney advising Michigan State Interim President John Engler told other officials in an email that a story told at a board meeting by Larry Nassar sexual abuse victim Kaylee Lorincz was fake.

Lorincz said at Friday’s board meeting that she and her mother met with Engler earlier in the year after she felt Engler made hurtful comments. During the course of their meeting, Lorincz recounted on Friday, Engler said he couldn’t discuss much because of pending civil litigation.

Then, she said, Engler asked her Right now, if I wrote you a check for $250,000, would you take it?” She then said he asked her for a number when she responded that it wasn’t about the money to her. 

Engler did not dispute Lorincz’s story at the meeting and a spokesperson for the school who was in the meeting with Lorincz and her mother said the topic of money was more of a philosophical one.

Per Engler’s lawyer, Lorincz’s story is “false news.”

The Detroit Free-Press obtained an email sent over the weekend by Michigan State special counsel Carol Viventi. In it, she claims Lorincz and her mother would not leave the campus without meeting with Engler in an attempt to “set up” the school and president. She also said that Lorincz’s story at the board meeting Friday was part of a plot to try to increase the possible settlement amount from the school.

Really. From the Free-Press:

“Understand that Bob Young advises that the plaintiff attorneys are willing to make bold and false assertions to advance their goal of increasing the cost of settlement,” Viventi’s e-mail said. “What members of the board say in public can, however unwittingly, advance the plaintiffs’ goals and injure the university.  When, as here, it is possible to verify whether public assertions made by plaintiffs are true, there should never be a statement in the press by board members that gives credibility to sensational headlines or what can best be described as “false news.”

Lorincz, 18, is one of hundreds of women suing the school for the way it handled claims of sexual abuse by Nassar, the school’s and USA Gymnastics’ former doctor. Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison in January on multiple counts of sexual abuse and assault. 

Nassar’s former Michigan State boss, William Strampel, was charged with four crimes in March. Authorities said they found a video on his computer of Nassar sexually abusing a victim. Strampel’s charges were an early product of the Michigan Attorney General’s investigation into Michigan State’s handling of allegations against Nassar.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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