John Engler has turned out to be the bull in china shop in his role as interim president of Michigan State University, insulting the very people he was supposed to comfort — survivors in the Larry Nassar scandal.
Now he apologizes for private emails suggesting that Rachael Denhollander, the first gymnast to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, might get a “kickback” from her attorney for “manipulating” other victims, reports Kim Kozlowski of The Detroit News.
“I was wrong. I apologize,” Engler writes in a statement Thursday. “When I started this interim position in February, it was never my intent to have an adversarial relationship with some of the survivors.”
He apologizes directly to Denhollander.
“My speculation about the lead plaintiff receiving kickbacks or referral fees hurt her deeply and for that I am truly sorry,” Engler wrote. “She and the other survivors suffered greatly and they are entitled not to have their sincerity questioned, either individually or as a group. I apologize to her and her sister survivors.”