Shaun White Called Out By Accuser's Lawyer For Minimizing Sexual Harassment

Olympian Shaun White says he's a 'changed person' after calling past allegations 'gossip'

'Today' Tiptoes Through Harassment Allegation Talk With Shaun White

In 2016, TMZ reported Zawaideh brought the suit against White for claims including sexual harassment.

As White was making his comeback at the 2018 Winter Games, social media users were tweeting details from a August 2016 lawsuit filed against him by Lena Zawaideh.

But as the last man down he responded in emphatic fashion with a run he had never unveiled before to become the most successful Olympic snowboarder of all time. Instead it was the manner in which he responded to a question from a reporter who asked whether the sexual harassment allegations he faced previous year tarnished his legacy.

Later, White spoke to the Today show and apologized for his "poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject".

A moderator stepped in and tried to switch the focus back to his gold-medal performance despite more questions on the sexual assault allegations before White intervened and shut them down.

"I'm truly sorry that I chose the word "gossip"," White said.

"Shaun White just broke flag code like six times", another Twitter user Luke Perrin wrote.

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In his interview with "Today", White said he was a "changed person".

"I watched Ayumu beat my previous run's score and I was pretty frustrated", said White, known as the "Flying Tomato" because of his red hair. He attributed his choice of words to having been "so overwhelmed with wanting to talk about how wonderful the day was and share my experience".

According to USA Today, White denied the sexual harassment charges but later conceded that he sent the text messages. "It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today, and I'm just truly sorry, and I was so overwhelmed in just wanting to talk about how incredible today was and share my experience".

Some publishers have questioned NBC's presentation of White as an American hero, both in the build-up to the Winter Olympics and in the immediate aftermath of obtaining his gold medal.

The US team now trails only Norway (118 going into PyeongChang 2018) in the total of Winter Olympics gold medals. The four-time medalist then reflected on how he has grown as a person.

"I've kind of, like, found the love of the sport again", he said, "through my friends and family and the people who support me". Six months later, White reportedly requested the San Diego Superior Court to have his accuser undergo a mental health evaluation - three months later the two reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount.

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