Shaun White apologizes for calling sex harassment claims 'gossip'

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Snowboarder Shaun White called past sexual harassment allegations levied against him "gossip" during a news conference Wednesday after his historic gold medal win at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

In the lawsuit, Lena Zawaideh, a former member of White's band charged that the gold-medal victor consistently sexually harassed her for the seven years they worked together and sent her unsolicited "sexually explicit and graphic images", according to USA Today.

He asked whether the sexual harassment allegations against him would "tarnish" White's legacy.

White, who made history as the first snowboarder to win three gold medals, said on the morning talk show that he feels like that he is a "changed person than I was when I was younger".

"Over the past couple of days the sexual harassment allegations against you by Lena Zawaideh have resurfaced", a reporter asked at the media event.

White, starting last in the halfpipe, watched bronze medallist Scotty James wipe out before nailing a spectacular last run of the day to snatch victory from Japan's Ayumu Hirano, celebrating wildly afterwards.

Hirano, 19, landed back-to-back 1440s in his second run to overtake White with a score of 95.25, but the American replied with an incredible 97.75 to win.

"I have to get to the medal ceremony", he said while being ushered away by Alexakos.

White tallied a 97.75 to take gold at the final moment, an incredible comeback.

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"I'm sure you can tell by my reactions at the bottom of the pipe but this meant the world to me and my family and my team", White said at the news conference.

In one of the best-known cases, coach Bob Young - who trained Olympic gold medalists Oksana Baiul, Viktor Petrenko and Ekaterina Gordeeva in CT - settled a lawsuit brought by former skater Jessica Roos in 2002 and faced multiple accusations that he sexually abused other skaters.

In an Olympic gold medal showdown between United States snowboard star Shaun White and "the next Shaun White" on Wednesday, there was only ever going to be one victor - the original.

Bohm added that Zawaideh could not speak about her allegations or the outcome of her lawsuit because of "powerful forces at play" and that his client had been returning to her music career in peace until White made the remarks.

She claims White appointed himself boss of the group because he was rich, famous and had connections, paying them a monthly salary of $4762.

The filing also reportedly included the claim White stuck his hands down his trousers and forced Zewaideh to smell them, along with allegations of unpaid wages and demands about her appearance onstage.

"Stuck his hands down his trousers, approached Zawaideh, and stuck his hands in her face trying to make her smell them". He allegedly told her to cut her hair and wear "sexually revealing clothes and underwear".

The website published the full legal complaint where it is claimed White "sent graphic images to Zawaideh of engorged penises". White's statement did not specify what was in the texts.

White and Zawaideh settled for an undisclosed amount in mid-2017. He also now holds the USA record for the most years between gold medals (12), topping Ted Ligety's previous record of eight.