Shaun White apologized Wednesday for calling sexual harassment allegations against him “gossip” shortly after he won his third Olympic gold medal.
After 2016 sexual misconduct accusations against White resurfaced in the lead up to the competition, the snowboarder told reporters he was there to “talk about the Olympics not, you know, gossip.” He walked that statement back in an interview with Savannah Guthrie on the Today show Wednesday.
“I’m truly sorry that I chose the word ‘gossip,'” White said. “It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today and I’m just truly sorry.”
“I’m truly sorry that I chose the word gossip. It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today.” @shaunwhite on his remarks at news conference when asked about harassment case pic.twitter.com/5q9jyCL61m— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2018
“I was so overwhelmed with just wanting to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience,” he added, referring to winning his historic third gold medal in the snowboard halfpipe on Wednesday, a feat that brought home the United States’ 100th-ever winter Olympic gold.
Lena Zawaideh, who was formerly a drummer in White’s rock band Bad Things, alleged in a 2016 lawsuit that White “repeatedly sexually harassed her and forced his authoritarian management style on her for over seven years.” White allegedly sent Zawaideh sexually explicit photos and videos, made sexual remarks toward her and directed her to wear revealing clothing, according to the lawsuit.
White and Zawaideh reached a settlement in May 2017. Their representatives did not immediately respond to TIME’s requests for comment on Tuesday, though White’s lawyers have previously denied the claims.
“I’ve grown as a person over the years,” White said on Today Wednesday. “It’s amazing how life works in twists and turns and lessons learned. Every experience in my life, I feel like it’s taught me a lesson. 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.”
“Do you feel that you learned something from that?” @savannahguthrie asks @ShaunWhite about sexual harassment case— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2018
“I definitely feel like I’m a much more changed person than I was when I was younger.” -White pic.twitter.com/9BiOuu4vP1
When asked about his Olympic legacy, White said he is “definitely not done” and even alluded to a possible second act: skateboarding, which will make its summer Olympic debut in 2020.
“I got big plans,” White said.