Olympic snowboarder Shaun White dismissed the allegations of sexual harassment against him as “gossip” on Wednesday, hours after he won his third Olympic gold medal.
Lena Zawaideh, the former drummer in White’s rock band, said the snowboarder sent her explicit images and videos, grabbed her buttocks, referred to her as a b—h, and made controlling demands regarding her appearance in a lawsuit she filed in 2016.
She also said he refused to pay her wages after firing her, the lawsuit states.
White paid an undisclosed settlement in May and went on to win gold in the men’s halfpipe in Pyeongchang on Wednesday.
But his comeback prompted the allegations to resurface on social media, and reporters asked whether he thought the claims would tarnish his reputation.
“I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff,” he said. “I don’t think so.”
Reporters attempted to follow up about the lawsuit, but US Snowboarding and Freeskiing Event Director Nick Alexakos shut them down.
Silver medalist Ayumu Hirano of Japan, gold medalist Shaun White of the United States and bronze medalist Scotty James of Australia during the victory ceremony for the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Final.
(Clive Rose/Getty Images)
White immediately left the stage following the conference while reporters continued to question him.
“I have to get to the medal ceremony,” he said while being ushered away by Alexakos.
Zawaideh, who filed the lawsuit in San Diego County, alleged White sent her images of “naked men with engorged and erect penises and videos of vulgar sex acts.”
White asked her questions about her sex life, grabbed her buttocks, and on one occasion tried to kiss her while he was drunk, the lawsuit states.
Zawaideh also claimed White made “snide and disapproving remarks” about her clothes and demanded she cut her hair, don revealing clothes, and stop wearing red lipstick.
He also refused to pay her wages after he fired her, according to the lawsuit.
With News Wire Services
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