Olympic snowboarder Shaun White dismissed sexual assault and harassment allegations against him, calling them “gossip” during a press conference Wednesday.
White, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, responded to a reporter’s question about a 2016 sexual misconduct suit against the snowboarder, saying that he is a “changed person,” reported the Huffington Post.
“You know, honestly, here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip,” White said.
White’s former band member Lena Zawaideh accused him of sexually assaulting and harassing her. The alleged victim said White forced her to watch “sexually disturbing videos, including videos sexualizing human fecal matter.” White allegedly made vulgar remarks to Zawaideh and groped her while trying to kiss her. White also allegedly touched his penis inside his pants and trying to get her to smell his hands afterward.
The suit was settled privately in 2017, according to USA Today.
Shaun White on if he thinks the sexual harassment allegations against him will tarnish his legacy: “You know, honestly, here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip.” pic.twitter.com/45I1DjTB2u
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) February 14, 2018
When asked Wednesday whether he thought the controversy would tarnish his legacy, the 31-year-old snowboarder responded, “I don’t think so. I am who I am and proud of who I am. And my friends love me and vouch for me and I think that stands on its own.”
The Pyeongchang Olympics are White’s fourth round of games.
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