Engler responds to Nassar victim's accusation that he offered hush money

Published: Apr. 13, 2018 at 6:31 PM EDT
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(04/13/18) - Michigan State University President John Engler says he met with a sexual assault victim of former sports doctor Larry Nassar last month but did not comment on her announcement that he offered her a payout.

Engler says "our memories and interpretations of the March 28 meeting are different than hers."

He added that he's "sorry if anything said during the meeting was misunderstood."

In a Friday board of trustees meeting, 18-year-old Kaylee Lorincz publicly accused Engler and his special counsel of offering $250,000 to settle civil litigation while her attorney was not present. She said the encounter left her feeling "bullied."

"Mr. Engler then looked directly at me and asked, 'Right now, if I wrote you a check for $250,000, would you take it?' When I explained it's not about the money for me, and that I just want to help, he said, 'Well give me a number,'" Lorincz said.

Engler spokeswoman, Emily Guerrant, says she was in the room during the conversation with Lorincz and does not remember Engler proposing a dollar figure.

Amid calls for Engler to resign, speakers approached the podium to discuss the culture of sexual assault on campus that they say still isn't being addressed - and some also denouncing the university for allowing white supremacist Richard Spencer's appearance on campus last month.

But trustee and vice chairman Joel Ferguson doubled down on his support of Engler. "John Engler is the right person for this time and I'm...and I'm very comfortable in saying that," Ferguson said.

Lorincz is among several victims suing the university over its handling of the Nassar case. The disgraced sports doctor is serving decades in prison for molesting women and girls.

Mediation of claims will begin on April 25.