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14 Feb 2018

Sexual assault allegations resurface against Olympic snowboarding legend Shaun White

Olympic snowboarder Shaun White's alleged sexual harassment cases

As Shaun White cemented his status as the snowboarding legend by winning a record third gold at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, his achievement is eclipsed by the emergence of sexual assault allegations made against him in the past.

While White dismissed it as "gossip", the accusations are significant at a time, when movements like #MeToo call for accountability around harassment.

Here are the details.

In context

Olympic snowboarder Shaun White's alleged sexual harassment cases
Who is Shaun White?

Bio

Who is Shaun White?

Shaun White is an American snowboarder, who is an icon in his sport.

Including the 2018 Winter Olympics, White has been part of four Olympic games since the 2006 Torino games.

In the past, he won two gold medals in the Men's halfpipe snowboarding event at 2006 and 2010 Winter games.

He is also a record 13-time gold medallist at the Winter X Games.

First American male to win gold at three separate games

With the latest gold medal from the 2018 games in his medal cabinet, Shaun White created history to become the first male American to win gold at three separate Winter Olympics.

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2016

Sexual harassment case against Shaun White

Lena Zawaideh, a former drummer in Shaun White's rock band "Bad Things" accused the athlete of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed in August 2016.

In the complaint, she stated that White harassed her by sending "sexually explicit and graphic images of engorged and erect penises, forced her to watch disturbing videos, including videos sexualizing human faecal matter."

Zawaideh talks of "authoritarian management style" in the suit

Zawaideh alleged that White forced his "authoritarian management style on her, going so far to demand that she cut her hair, wear sexually revealing clothes and underwear and refrain from wearing red lipstick."

Undisclosed settlement in the harassment case

What happened?

Undisclosed settlement in the harassment case

White had previously denied the allegations saying that the texts were between friends and were being used to craft a bogus lawsuit.

He had, however, reached an undisclosed settlement with Zawaideh in May 2017.

The case resurfaced in the recent weeks leading up to the 2018 Winter Olympics amid worldwide focus on treatment of women at workplace, following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

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