Details Of Alleged Sexual Harassment Claims Against Snowboarder Shaun White Emerge
Here's why Bad Things drummer Lena Zawaideh is reportedly suing "The Flying Tomato."
It's fair to say that 2016 has not been the best year for snowboarding icon Shaun White (aka "The Flying Tomato"). Not only was White snubbed from the X Games, he’s also been caught up in a public relations nightmare after reports emerged of former Bad Things drummer Lena Zawaideh filing sexual harassment allegations against him.
According to a story first reported in the gossip-rag TMZ, White's bandmate Zawaideh has claimed she was sexually abused by the snowboarder during her seven years with the band. Mpora covered the initial harassment allegations against White earlier this year, but the surfacing of new court documents has seen the story take a turn for the bizarre.
The TMZ reports suggest that Zawaideh is claiming White subjected her to watching a film called the 'Church of Fudge', a pornographic film that features a nun, a priest, and some sexualised excrement. According to the allegations, White is also reported to have shown the drummer footage of a couple shooting a bear before having sex on the bear's corpse. TMZ suggest that White is also accused of sticking his hands in pants, and then placing his fingers in front of Zawaideh's face immediately afterwards so that she could smell them.
Among the string of allegations against the snowboarder, Zawaideh is reportedly claiming that White sent her a number of inappropriate text messages featuring sexually explicit videos and graphic images of "engorged and erect penises." The alleged text messages, published by the gossip-website TMZ, also appear to show White as a controlling presence in the band; with him telling Zawaideh how to have her hair cut in one message and telling her that he was "really disappointed" to see photographs of her in a "fleece sweater."
Zawaideh has issued a statement on the legal matter saying, "I am pursuing this case because women should not have to tolerate harassment at work. Shaun White should not be allowed to do whatever he wants just because he is famous. Although I am embarrassed to have been treated treated this way, I cannot sit by and watch him do this to other women."
As well as damages for alleged sexual harassment, Zawaideh is also reportedly suing White for non-payment of her contract. The lawsuit is being filed by the attorney Lawrence Bohm.
White has responded to the story's developments by admitting that he did send sexually explicit text messages to Zawaideh, but that the pair were friends at the time and that any allegations of sexual harassment relating to this matter are false.
In a statement issued through his attorney Kerry Garvis Wright, White says, "Many years ago, I exchanged texts with a friend who is now using them to craft a bogus lawsuit. There is absolutely no coincidence to the timing of her claims, and we will defend them vigorously in court."