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A lawyer for a woman who accused Shaun White of sexual misconduct says the Olympic snowboarder has "minimized" the problem in the United States by calling her allegations "gossip."
In 2016, Lena Zawaideh, the former drummer of his band Bad Things, sued the athlete for sexual harassment. She accused him of sending her sexually explicit text messages. At the time, he said in a statement that he had "exchanged texts with a friend who is now using them to craft a bogus lawsuit." They reached an undisclosed settlement in May.
On Wednesday, after winning a record-breaking third Olympic gold medal in the men's halfpipe at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, White, 31, was asked at a news conference whether he was concerned that Zawaideh's allegations would tarnish his legacy. He replied, "You know honestly, I'm here to talk about the Olympics, not, you know, gossip. But I don't think so." The snowboarder later apologized, saying on NBC's Today show, "I'm 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."
"Before Mr. White made his comment, Ms. Zawaideh believed that this matter was in the past, and she was happy to put the situation behind her so she can focus on her blossoming music career," Zawaideh's lawyer, Lawrance Bohm, said in a statement to E! News. "Unfortunately, by his recent comments and conduct, Mr. White has minimized the problem of sexual harassment in this country."