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Daddy Dearest
E. M. Swift
December 21, 1998
Olympic gold has turned to dross for 17-year-old Dominique Moceanu, whose abusive father may have looted her trust fund and tried to have her coach killed
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December 21, 1998

Daddy Dearest

Olympic gold has turned to dross for 17-year-old Dominique Moceanu, whose abusive father may have looted her trust fund and tried to have her coach killed

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"I'm figuring out a budget," she says, "paying my own rent. I'm a little behind in school, but I hope to catch up and graduate this year on time. Then junior college or college. There's a lot out there besides gymnastics. I have a lot of options."

One of those options is returning to the Olympic team, but Dominique, who until this fall had rarely been away from a gym for more than a few days at a time, doesn't have a place to train yet, and her coach, who is rumored to have returned to Romania, is still lying low. "You have to be so focused to try to make the Olympic team," says Dominique, who is reluctant to relocate to another city. "And Luminita would be the only coach I'd do it with."

Hunt is unsure whether the recent publicity has been good or bad for his client's image. An argument can be made—as figure skating fans can attest—that there's nothing like a good scandal to boost ratings. "Certainly there's a keener awareness of who Dominique is, and the gymnastics exhibition market is a growing one," he says.

For now, it's difficult for Dominique to look much beyond her first Christmas away from home. "I'm going to invite my mom and my little sister [Christina, 9] over to my apartment. Maybe my dad will realize soon what he's lost. Maybe it'll be the wakeup call he needed."

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