Olympian Shaun White Says He’s ‘Truly Sorry’ For Calling Sexual Misconduct Allegations Made Against Him ‘Gossip’!

shaun white winter olympics sexual misconduct drama

An Olympic medal isn’t going to keep the press from asking about sexual misconduct!

Not long after winning his third gold medal in the men’s halfpipe at the Winter Olympics, Shaun White dismissed a question about the sexual misconduct allegations made against him in a 2016 lawsuit as “gossip.” Man, oh man.

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White, who has been one of snowboarding’s most prominent athletes, was on cloud nine following his gold medal making run. However little did he know that, as he was competing, details from a lawsuit by a former drummer from his band, the Bad Things, resurfaced online.

ICYMI, Lena Zawaideh accused the Olympian of sexual harassment and said he refused to pay her wages after he fired her. The legal drama was settled back in May for an undisclosed amount.

When asked if the allegations might affect his reputation, White responded:

“I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff. I don’t think so.”

As reporters attempted to get Shaun to offer up additional comments, U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing Event Director Nick Alexakos shut down the line of questioning. The American athlete was then whisked off stage, as he added:

“I have to get to the medal ceremony.”

Unsurprisingly, the #MeToo movement on Twitter was NOT about the praise for White’s big win or his laissez-faire response regarding the scandal. Get a taste of the backlash (below)!

Yikes. Of course, the controversial snowboarder moved quickly to handle the bad press. While speaking with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie in Pyeongchang, Shaun apologized for referring to the allegations as “gossip.”

Related: Snowboarding Wunderkind Makes History With Gold Medal Win

White shared:

“I am truly sorry that I chose the word ‘gossip.’ It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today. I was so overwhelmed and just wanted to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience.”

Guthrie tried to get him to further address the situation as she pressed him on the issue. Shaun danced around the topic, as he concluded:

“I’ve grown as a person over the years. It’s amazing how life works, and twists and turns and lessons learned. Every experience in my life I feel like it’s taught me a lesson and I definitely feel like I’m a much more changed person than I was when I was younger. I’m proud of who I am today.”

Huh. We’re not sure this is enough to dissuade his many critics!!

[Image via Instagram.]

Feb 14, 2018 11:15am PDT

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