Three-time Olympic halfpipe gold medalist Shaun White expressed regret Thursday for behavior that led to sexual misconduct allegations against him in a 2016 lawsuit.
In a statement provided to ESPN, White said: “Representing Team USA at the Olympics in a sport that I love is a true honor and I was thrilled to win gold. I regret my behavior many years ago and am sorry that I made anyone — particularly someone I considered a friend — uncomfortable. I have grown and changed as a person, as we all grow and change, and am proud of who I am today.”
White has been the world’s dominant snowboarder for more than a decade, winning halfpipe gold medals in 2006, 2010 and again this year, completing a comeback after finishing fourth in 2014.
As White was competing Wednesday, many on social media resurfaced the details from the lawsuit 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 in May for an undisclosed amount.
White was asked during a news conference after winning gold on Wednesday 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.”
Speaking on NBC’s “Today Show” on Wednesday, White apologized for dismissing the allegations against him as “gossip.”
“A poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject,” he said. “I’m just truly sorry.
“I was so overwhelmed with just wanting to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience.”
Information from ESPN’s Alyssa Roenigk and The Associated Press was used in this report.