Tags: shaun white | lawsuit | gold | gossip

Shaun White Lawsuit: Gold Medalist Sorry for Calling Allegation 'Gossip'

By    |   Wednesday, 14 February 2018 02:39 PM

Shaun White's 2016 sexual misconduct lawsuit resurfaced this week, leading to an apology from the Olympic snowboarder for calling it "gossip" during a news conference after his victory in the men's halfpipe at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Asked at the news conference whether the lawsuit might tarnish his reputation, White responded, "I'm here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff," ESPN reported.

He apologized Wednesday morning during an interview on NBC's "Today."

"I'm truly sorry that I chose the word 'gossip,'" White said on "Today." "It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today. I was so overwhelmed with just wanting to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience."

White, who made history as the first snowboarder to win three gold medals, said on the morning talk show that he feels like that he is a "changed person than I was when I was younger. I'm proud of who I am today."

In the lawsuit, Lena Zawaideh, a former member of White's band charged that the gold-medal winner consistently sexually harassed her for the seven years they worked together and sent her unsolicited "sexually explicit and graphic images," according to USA Today.

Zawaideh, the former drummer in White's band Bad Things, filed the lawsuit in San Diego County, California, against White, 31, and his company in May 2016, charging breach of contract in not paying her a $3,750 monthly retainer from September 2013 through August 2014, USA Today said.

Zawaideh amended the lawsuit in August 2016 adding the charges that White sexually harassed her, including sending the alleged sexually explicit and graphic images to her through text messages, the newspaper said.

According to USA Today, White denied the sexual harassment charges but later conceded that he sent the text messages. He asked San Diego Superior Court to force Zawaideh to undergo a mental health evaluation, the newspaper said.

White later withdrew that request last year and an attorney for Zawaideh filed a notice of unconditional settlement in the case and requested the case be dismissed in May 2017, per USA Today.

In another controversy, White riled social media when he let the American flag drag on the ground after his halfpipe victory, The Washington Post said.

"I remember being handed the flag," White said at a news conference, per the Post. "I was trying to put my gloves on and hold the flag and the board. Honestly, if there was anything, I definitely didn't mean any disrespect. The flag that's flying on my house right now is way up there. Sorry for that. But I'm definitely proud — very proud — to be a part of Team USA and being an American and to be representing for everyone back home."

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Shaun White apologized for calling a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him in 2016 "gossip" during an interview after his men's halfpipe victory at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
shaun white, lawsuit, gold, gossip
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 02:39 PM
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