For its prime-time Olympic coverage Tuesday night, NBC was expected to put much of its focus on Shaun White’s bid for a gold medal in the snowboarding halfpipe event.

White, after all, was one of handful the marquee names heavily promoted by NBC coming into the Games. And if he’s able to strike gold gold, it would be the kind of dramatic comeback story TV craves: An American hero and all that stuff.

But one thing wasn’t so certain going into Tuesday’s coverage: Would NBC continue to avoid mentioning the fact that White was the target of a sexual harassment lawsuit?

In August 2016, Lena Zawaideh, who formerly was a drummer in White’s rock band Bad Things, accused White of sexual harassment in a suit filed in San Diego. She alleged that White “repeatedly sexually harassed her and forced his authoritarian management style on her for over seven years.”

Zawaideh and White reached an undisclosed settlement in May 2017.

In her complaint, Zawaideh claimed that 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. (Her full complaint can be read on Deadspin).

The complaint alleges that White’s behavior got worse after he failed to win a medal in Sochi in 2014 — that he “became increasingly hostile and threatening.”

In February 2017, White requested that the San Diego Superior Court compel Zawaideh to undergo a mental health evaluation. Three months after that, the two parties reached their settlement.

Josh Levin, a reporter for, astutely points out that it’s not just NBC that failed to take note of Zawaideh’s allegations and the subsequent settlement. He conducted a Nexis database search in which he found that no major news outlet mentioned the harassment …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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