Shaun White responds to questions about sexual misconduct allegations made against him in 2016 lawsuit: “I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff.” https://t.co/q8paxSc2Rd pic.twitter.com/FqV3nA5uIH
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) February 14, 2018
Shaun White, fresh off of nabbing an Olympic gold medal for his run down the snowboarding halfpipe, shot down allegations of sexual misconduct by calling them “gossip” while speaking at a press conference in Pyeongchang.
However, White has since apologized on NBC’s Today for using what he said was “a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject” — adding that he is “truly sorry.”
The accusations were made in a 2016 lawsuit, which was settled for an unreported amount, when an ex-member of White’s band Bad Things accused the athlete of sexual harassment and bizarre examples of misconduct.
White, who responded to the claims just after winning his third career gold medal, said the following:
“I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff. I don’t think [it will tarnish my reputation]… I have to get to the medal ceremony.”
Clearly, White wasn’t too interested in discussing the matter, as he quickly left the presser just after the question was asked.
Details in the suit include one portion that alleges, “White stuck his hands down his pants, approached Zawaideh, and stuck his hands in her face trying to make her smell them.” The accuser, Leah Zawaideh, also accused white of making her view porn and requesting that she wear revealing clothes.
While the suit has been public information for sometime now, it resurfaced given the sexual misconduct-focused news cycle over recent months and the rise of the #MeToo movement.
Watch above, via the Associated Press.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to note White’s apology.
[images via screengrab]
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