Dominique Moceanu, born 1981, was financially, emotionally, and physically abused by her parents, Romanian immigrants Dimitru and Camelia Moceanu, while being homeschooled for part of her high school years. Dominique’s sister Christina (b. 1989), was also emotionally abused. Another sister, Jennifer (b. 1987), was given up for adoption at birth.
Dominique, a professional gymnast, attended public schools in various states as a child and was a straight-A student. She was enrolled at Northland Christian School in Houston in November 1995 when she ceased attending to prepare for the summer Olympics of 1996 (where she would go on to win a gold medal). While being homeschooled, she had “several hours of academic instruction [each day], conducted by her mother with the help of a home-schooling TV channel.” During this time, her father slapped her across the face as punishment for eating food unsanctioned by her gymnastics coaches, Bela and Marta Karolyi. After the Olympics, she embarked on a 7-month tour around the US. It is unclear when she returned to school. On October 17, 1998, Dominique ran away from home due to continued abuse. Shortly thereafter she filed a lawsuit against her parents for stealing her earnings and was granted legal emancipation from them by the courts. In December 1998 she was granted a temporary restraining order against her parents who were stalking and harassing her; Dimitru was apparently plotting to have two of Dominique’s friends murdered. She went back to Northland Christian School in spring 1999.
Location: Houston, Texas
|Dominique Moceanu: An American Champion||1997|
|Childhood Lost: Olympic Gymnast Sues Parents||10-22-1998|
|Gymnast Moceanu remains in seclusion||10-23-1998|
|MOCEANU IS DECLARED A LEGAL ADULT||10-29-1998|
|GYMNASTICS; Gymnast Moceanu Gets Order Of Protection Against Father||12-01-1998|
|Off Balance: A Memoir||2013|