Snowboarder Shaun White reacted on Wednesday to sexual harassment allegations that resurfaced the coming week ahead of his winning performance in the halfpipe happening at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
During a news conference held shortly after the snowboarder triumphed his third career amber medallion, White was asked about the allegations, which were first made public in a 2016 suit. In tribunal filings obtained by Deadspin at the time, White’s former bandmate, Lena Zawaideh, accused him of having “repeatedly sexually harassed her and coerced his authoritarian administration form on her for over seven years.” The suit was reportedly settled privately last year.
“I’m here to talk about the Olympics , not, you are familiar with, chatter, ” White told reporters on Wednesday of the accusations.
Asked whether he belief the polemic would darken his gift, the 31 -year-old said: “I don’t think so. I am who I am and proud of who I am. And my friends adore me and vouch for me and I think that countenances on its own.”
Later on Wednesday, White apologized for using the word “gossip, ” telling NBC’s “Today” been demonstrated that “it was a good select of words to describe such a sensitive issue in the world today.”
U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing event director Nick Alexakos eventually cut off the journalists, telling them the interrogation should focus on the competition.
White has hitherto declared to transporting sexually explicit textbook to Zawaideh, but repudiated her other allegations.
“Many years ago, I exchanged textbook with a sidekick who is now using them to workmanship a fraudulent lawsuit, ” he told TMZ in 2016.
According to the lawsuit, White “sent sexually explicit and graphic personas to Zawaideh of engorged and erect penises, pushed her to watch sexually shaking videos, including videos sexualizing human faecal matter, and attained crass sexual mentions to her such as,’ Don’t forget to suck his balls! ’ when provide comments on her boyfriend.”
She also accused him of grabbing her behind, making an unwanted move to kiss her and touching his penis inside his pants, then trying to clear her smelling his hands afterwards. The clothing flourished from her original claim that he denied remittance when he fired her.