Shaun White apologizes for the rumors of accusations
Shaun White: “Here to talk about the Olympic Games, not the gossip”
When Shaun White was asked about allegations of sexual harassment after winning the gold medal, he said he wanted to focus on current games, not gossip.
USA TODAY SPORTs
On Wednesday, in the Today’s Show presentation, Olympic champion Shaun White apologized for using the word “gossip” to describe the accusations of sexual harassment against him in 2016.
“I’m very sorry to have chosen the word gossip, it was a bad choice of words to describe such a sensitive issue in today’s world,” said White. “I’m so sorry, I was so overwhelmed that I just wanted to talk about how cool it was today and share my experience, but yes.”v
When pressed by co-anchor Savannah Guthrie about the matter, White said he’s “grown as a person over the years.”
“It’s amazing — you’ve known me for a long time now — it’s amazing how life works with twists and turns and lessons learned,” White said. “So every experience in my life, I feel like it’s taught me a lesson, and I definitely feel like I’m a much more changed person than I was when I was younger. And yeah, I’m just proud of who I am today.”
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The allegations stem from a civil suit in San Diego in 2016 in which White Lena Zawaideh’s drummer said he had sexually harassed her and sent her “sexually explicit and graphic images.” White dismissed the accusations but admitted to sending the SMS. The two parties later reached a silent agreement.
White received a question on Wednesday after winning his third Olympic gold medal. He rejected it as a “gossip” and said he was there to talk about the Olympics. Only the reporters were asked to ask questions at the 13-minute press conference, although several women raised their hands.
“I am who I am and I am proud of who I am and my friends love and support me, and I think that is the only thing that needs to be done,” White said at the press conference.