FILE - In this March 15, 2018 file photo, Michigan State University's interim president John Engler speaks with reporters after appearing at a legislative hearing in Lansing, Mich. A letter signed by at least 120 victims sexual abuse by former sports doctor Larry Nassar on Tuesday, June 19, urged Michigan State University’s governing board to oust Engler, saying he had reinforced a “culture of abuse” at the school. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

Michigan State president apologizes for 'kickback' comments

June 21, 2018 - 2:11 pm
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University's interim president is apologizing for emails in which he said a victim of former campus sports doctor Larry Nassar probably received a "kickback" from her plaintiff's lawyer.

John Engler issued a written statement Thursday, more than a week after media outlets reported on his email exchange with another university official. He says: "It was a big mistake. I was wrong. I apologize."

Engler says when he started as president in February, he never meant to have an adversarial relationship with some of Nassar's victims. He says his speculation about Rachael Denhollander receiving kickbacks or referral fees "hurt her deeply," and other survivors "suffered greatly."

Two university trustees have called on Engler to resign, but he says he'll use his remaining time as interim president to implement reforms.

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