Olympics hero Shaun White apologises for brushing off sexual misconduct claims

Shaun White wins third snowboard halfpipe gold with nerveless final run

Shaun White rolls back the years for gold

The snowboarder dismissed the sexual harassment case made against him as mere "gossip" during a press conference at the Winter Olympics, where he won his third gold medal at the men's snowboard halfpipe. "I'm proud of who I am today", White said on the "Today" show Wednesday.

During the press conference, both White and his manager told reporters who asked about the lawsuit that he was there to talk about his gold medal.

"It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today".

"I'm just truly sorry", he said. "I think we're here to talk about the gold medal and the unbelievable day we had today", he said.

The clip features a 19-year-old White, fresh off winning halfpipe gold in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, reveling in his rising celebrity status during a CNN interview.

His return to prominence in Pyeongchang has seen various U.S. media outlets highlight the previous lawsuit and question why White has not been subjected to questions while competing at the Olympics, especially in the make of the '#MeToo' campaign against sexual harassment, violence and abuse of power from men in high-ranking positions.

White's lawyer has previously claimed that the lawsuit lacked merit, and both White and Ms Zawaideh reached an out-of-court settlement in May 2017. The legal drama was settled back in May for an undisclosed amount.

The lawsuit alleged White bombarded Zawaideh with "sexually disturbing" videos, vulgar remarks and explicit text messages.

Zawaideh originally sued White for breach of contract, alleging that White owed her $3,750 of her monthly retainer from September 2013 to August 2014. "As the financier of Bad Things, White used his role to impose a strict regime over Zawaideh, going so far as to demand that she cut her hair, wear sexually revealing clothes and underwear, and refrain from wearing red lipstick".

It turns out, for whatever reason, no female reporters were called on to ask questions despite attempts to do so.

White has consistently denied the allegations.

After winning his gold medal, social media users tagged White and NBC in several posts, asking why the network did not bring up the lawsuit.

"I actually did the same trick that injured me here in the half pipe today".

He added that over the years, he's grown as a person and evolved since his younger years.

Reflecting on the moment his third gold was sealed with a score of 97.75 in the finals, White described a mix of emotions: "Oh man, that was very bad and incredible at the same time".

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