Ha­rass­ment suit dogs White af­ter win

Waterloo Region Record - - Sports - RICK MAESE

PYEONGCHANG — As Shaun White cel­e­brated his third Olympic half­pipe ti­tle, much of the vast, un­wieldy so­cial me­dia uni­verse cel­e­brated. They re­mem­bered the 31-year-old as a younger man, win­ning gold in at the 2006 Olympics and again in 2010, and they re­mem­bered his dis­ap­point­ing fourth-place fin­ish four years ago at Sochi .

Many oth­ers re­mem­bered what hap­pened be­tween Sochi and these Pyeongchang Olympics, which in­cluded al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and a law­suit that White faced in 2016. White, who called the charges “bo­gus” at the time, reached an undis­closed set­tle­ment and the case was dropped, but for many, his snow­board­ing vic­tory came cast against the back­drop of #MeToo and a di­a­logue about sex­ual ha­rass­ment and as­sault.

At a news con­fer­ence in Pyeongchang, about five hours af­ter he’d landed what many have hailed as one of the best half­pipe runs the sport has seen, White was asked to ad­dress the twoyear-old al­le­ga­tions.

Matt Gut­man of ABC News raised the ques­tion, ask­ing about charges levied by Lena Zawaideh, who was the for­mer drum­mer in his rock band. “You know, hon­estly, here to talk about the Olympics,” White said, “not gos­sip. But I don’t think so. I am who I am, and I’m proud of who I am. And my friends love me and vouch for me. I think that stands on its own.”

Zawaideh played in White’s band Bad Things, which re­leased an al­bum and played shows be­fore the Sochi Olympics. She filed her law­suit in May 2016.

In her com­plaint, she claimed White “re­peat­edly sex­u­ally harassed her and forced his au­thor­i­tar­ian man­age­ment style on her for over seven years.” Among the spe­cific in­ci­dents cited, Zawaideh said White tried to kiss her a party, and sent in­ap­pro­pri­ate text mes­sages, in­clud­ing pho­tos that fea­tured “en­gorged and erect penises.”

“Shaun took some kind of joy in see­ing how much he could break me down and mess with me. I don’t know why, but every time he saw that I was un­com­fort­able with some­thing, he would just keep go­ing just to be like, ‘Can I break her?’ ” Zawaideh told Page Six at the time.

“That’s not ac­cept­able for an em­ployee, which I was. Con­trac­tu­ally,” Zawaideh said.


A com­pos­ite im­age shows Amer­i­can snow­boarder Shaun White ex­e­cut­ing a back­side double McTwist 1260 for his fourth trick in his gold-medal run in the men’s half­pipe fi­nal at the Pyeongchang Win­ter Olympics on Wed­nes­day.

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