While Shaun White later walked back on his dismissal of the sexual-misconduct allegations against him as “gossip,” his accuser’s lawyer has not forgotten — or forgiven him for — that initial response.
“Mr. White’s comments, on the world stage, directly impugn the character of Ms. Zawaideh,” wrote Lawrance Bohm, lawyer for accuser Lena Zawaideh. “No woman wants to be called a ‘gossip’ or liar by the harasser.”
Details emerged in August 2016 that Zawaideh, White’s bandmate, had sued him for sexual harassment, for allegedly sending her sexually explicit images of “engorged and erect penises” and forcing her to watch sexually disturbing videos. The suit was reportedly settled privately last year.
After winning the gold at the Snowboard Men’s Half-pipe Final earlier this week, ABC’s Matt Gutman pushed White to discuss the accusations, to which White responded: “Honestly, I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff.”
While White later said he was “truly sorry that [he] chose the word gossip,” his poor word choice won’t be so easily forgotten. Bohm’s full response is below: