Shaun White made Winter Olympics history Tuesday night, becoming the first snowboarder to claim three halfpipe gold medals, but a sexual harassment lawsuit from 2016 clouded his moment.
When asked during his press conference after earning gold what he had to say about the suit and its effect on his legacy, which was settled in May, White said he didn't want to talk about "gossip". He later apologized for using that word to describe the situation.
— Omnisport US News (@OmnisportUS) February 14, 2018
But Lawrance Bohm, the attorney of the accuser, Lena Zawaideh, a former drummer for White’s rock band, had a problem with White's comments.
“There are powerful forces at play which prevent Ms. Zawaideh from speaking about the allegations and ultimate outcome of the sexual harassment case,” Bohm’s statement said Wednesday, via USA Today. “Before Mr. White made his comment, Ms. Zawaideh believed that this matter was in the past, and she was happy to put the situation behind her so she can focus on her blossoming music career. Unfortunately, by his recent comments and conduct, Mr. White has minimized the problem of sexual harassment in this country.”
Bohm then took a shot at White's character, calling for his fans to take a closer look at the snowboarder they cherish.
“No woman wants to be called a `gossip’ or a liar by the harasser,” Bohm said. “Minimizing sexual harassment maximizes the harm to Ms. Zawaideh. Hopefully, before our country declares someone `the best of the U.S.,’ there will be investigation and due diligence.”
White won the halfpipe with a near-perfect run, bouncing back from a disappointing fourth-place finish four years ago.