Shaun White Sexual Harassment Accuser's Lawyer Responds to Calling Claims Gossip

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2018

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 14: Shaun White of United States is seen prior to receiving his Gold Medal from the Men's Halfpipe Snowboard at Medal Plaza on February 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Attorney Lawrance Bohm said Shaun White "minimized the problem of sexual harassment in this country" by referring to allegations as "gossip," per Brent Schrotenboer and Josh Peter of USA Today.

Bohm represents Lena Zawaideh, White's former bandmate who filed a lawsuit against the Team USA snowboarder in 2016. The two sides agreed to an undisclosed settlement.

Although Zawaideh considered the situation to be over, her lawyer suggests his recent words were too harmful to ignore.

"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, 31, won his third Olympic gold medal in the men's snowboarding halfpipe Tuesday (Wednesday in Pyeongchang, South Korea). However, he was dismissive when asked about the sexual harassment lawsuit following his win.

"I'm here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff," he said, per Jake Seiner of the Associated Press (via ABC News).

He later apologized for his comments on the Today Show:


“I’m truly sorry that I chose the word gossip. It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today.” @shaunwhite on his remarks at news conference when asked about harassment case https://t.co/5q9jyCL61m

Zawaideh was the drummer and only female member of the band, Bad Things, which featured White on guitar. He had initially contested the harassment lawsuit and was set to go to court last August before the case was dismissed with a settlement.


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