Allegations of sexual harassment against American snowboarder Shaun White resurfaced this week just as he was preparing to compete in the men’s halfpipe event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. He had a historic run, winning his third Olympic gold medal.
Lena Zawaideh, who was a drummer in Shaun White’s rock band “Bad Things”, accused him of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed in August 2016. She alleges that White “repeatedly sexually harassed her and forced his authoritarian management style on her for over seven years.”
“White sent sexually explicit and graphic images to Zawaideh of engorged and erect penises, forced her to watch sexually disturbing videos, including videos sexualizing human fecal matter, and made vulgar sexual remarks to her,” the suit said.
White’s attorney has previously said that the allegations lacked merit. Zawaideh and White reached an undisclosed settlement in May 2017, USA Today reported at the time.
Zawaideh initially filed a different lawsuit against White, accusing him of breach of contract for lack of payment. Later, in the lawsuit filed in August 2016, she also accused him of sexual harassment.
Screenshots of text messages included in the complaint show White told Zawaideh to wear sexually revealing clothes and cut her hair shorter. When she declined, he questioned whether she was sure about her “decision to not do what I’m asking.”
“As the financier of Bad Things, White used his role to imposed 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—her own personal signature,” the suit said.