Olympics snowboarder and rocker Shaun White has apologised for dismissing sexual misconduct allegations made against him as “gossip” in a TV interview.
Shortly after winning his third gold medal in the men’s halfpipe at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, White was asked about claims made against him in a 2016 lawsuit, and brushed them off.
He told NBC reporters, “I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff.”
U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing event director Nick Alexakos shut down the line of questioning and quickly ushered the sportsman off stage at a press conference.
“I have to get to the medal ceremony,” Shaun said as he left.
Social media lit up after news of the incident and footage went viral, with stars like Alyssa Milano taking aim at the snowboarder.
She tweeted: “Woke up to this news! Here are some more words. Why isn’t NBC talking about Shaun White’s sexual harassment allegations?”
White, who settled with former Bad Things drummer Lena Zawaideh last summer (17) after she accused him of sexual harassment, has now apologised for his remarks.
“I am truly sorry that I chose the word ‘gossip’,” he states. “It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today. I was so overwhelmed and just wanted to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience.
“I’ve grown as a person over the years. It’s amazing how life works, and twists and turns and lessons learned. Every experience in my life, I feel like it’s taught me a lesson and I definitely feel like I’m a much more changed person than I was when I was younger. I’m proud of who I am today.”