Last Friday, an 18-year-old survivor of former MSU sports doctor Larrry Nassar’s sexual abuse stood before the university’s Board of Trustees and Interim President John Engler. She made national headlines.
Kaylee Lorincz accused Engler of privately offering her $250,000 to drop her civil lawsuit against the school, and after she said it wasn’t about the money, she says Engler told her, “Well, give me a number, then.” She says he offered a number to survivor Rachael Denhollander.
Before Lorincz could finish recounting the events before the Board, the interim president told her “Time’s up. Stop.”
Kaylee Lorincz joined Stateside Monday to discuss Friday's Board of Trustees meeting.
“I was kind of shocked that he was stopping me, that he was interrupting a survivor,” Lorincz said. But she wasn’t stopped. She kept speaking even after she was silenced because she was determined to tell the MSU Board of Trustees about Engler’s “true colors behind closed doors.”
Lorincz said after her private meeting with Engler, she and her mother were upset.
“We woke up that next day just feeling embarrassed that Mr. Engler said the things that he said,” Lorincz said. “He made us feel like we did something wrong.”
Lorincz said she then reached out to Rachael Denhollander and asked her if she’d met or spoken to Engler. Denhollander said she reached out to Engler’s office to ask if she could talk to him but that he has declined each time.
“Not only did he lie about meeting or talking with Rachael, [but] she obviously obviously never gave him a dollar amount, a settlement amount, because she has never talked to him,” Lorincz said.
Engler released a statement late Friday saying his memory of the March 28 meeting differs from that Lorincz.
“I am sorry if anything said during the meeting was misunderstood,” he said in the statement.
In addition, MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant, who was in the private meeting, told the Lansing State Journal that her interpretation had been that Engler wasn’t directly offering a settlement, but instead engaging in a "philosophical discussion" about what amount might be acceptable.
“He, one, never denied anything that I said that he said, and it wasn’t really an apology,” Lorincz said.
She added that she doesn’t think Engler intended to write her a check on the spot, but she does think he was looking for information from Lorincz on whether she’d talked to her attorney about a dollar amount, especially since she heads into mediation with MSU at the end of the month.
Lorincz’s attorney wasn’t present at the meeting, though. And she says they haven’t discussed a dollar amount yet.
Guerrant also told reporters she doesn’t remember Engler giving a dollar amount during their meeting.
This doesn’t worry Lorincz, though.
“I know the real story,” she said. “The truth will come out.”