Shaun White Apologizes For Calling Sexual Misconduct Allegations ‘Gossip’

February 14, 2018, 7:54 PM UTC

Olympic snowboarder Shaun White apologized Wednesday for calling the sexual misconduct allegations against him “gossip.”

Lena Zawaideh, a former bandmate of White, filed a suit in 2016 alleging that White had harassed her, forced her to watch pornography, sent her pornographic images, and refused to pay her after she was fired, ESPN reports. Also included in the lawsuit were screenshots of text messages between White and Zawaideh in which he asks her to wear a provocative outfit and cut her hair a certain way.

White won his third gold medal in Pyeongchang on Wednesday, adding to the two medals he had already won at previous Olympic Games. When ABC News asked White about the allegations during a press conference, he responded by saying “Honestly, I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not you know, not gossip.”

Several other reporters attempted to ask follow-up questions, which the moderator shot down. White was then rushed offstage.

Later, White apologized for his “gossip” comment and said he’s “a changed person.”

“It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today,” White told NBC’s Today show later in the day. “And, you know, I’m just truly sorry. And I was so overwhelmed with just wanting to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience.”