White sorry for belittling harassment
Shaun White apologized Wednesday after dismissing the sexual- misconduct allegations made against him in a 2016 lawsuit as ‘‘ gossip’’ shortly after winning his third Olympic gold medal in the men’s halfpipe.
White has been the dominant snowboarder in the world for more than a decade, also winning gold medals in 2006 and 2010.
As White was competing, many on social media brought up details from a lawsuit filed by a former drummer in White’s rock band, Bad Things. Lena Zawaideh said White sexually harassed her and refused to pay her wages after he fired her. The lawsuit was settled last May for an undisclosed amount of money.
White was asked during a news conference if the allegations might tarnish his reputation.
‘‘ I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff,’’ he said. ‘‘ I don’t think so.’’
White later said on NBC’s ‘‘ Today Show’’ that he used ‘‘ a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject.’’
‘‘ I’m just truly sorry,’’ he said. ‘‘ I was so overwhelmed with wanting to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience.’’
Lawrence Bohm, an attorney for Zawaideh who filed the suit against White, said White’s comments ‘‘ directly impugn’’ Zawaideh’s character.
U. S. star Mikaela Shiffrin came from behind on her second run to win gold in the women’s giant slalom Thursday. | GETTY IMAGES