Shaun White Olympics
Gold medalist Shaun White of the United States poses during the medal ceremony for the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Final on day five of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics at Medal Plaza on Feb. 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for Shaun White to apologize for the way he handled a question about the sexual harassment allegations that have resurfaced during the 2018 Winter Olympics. After calling claims that were made against him in a 2016 lawsuit “gossip” at a press conference, the snowboarder admitted to regretting his response.

“I’m truly sorry that I chose the word ‘gossip,’” White said Wednesday in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show. “It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today, and I’m just truly sorry. I was so overwhelmed just with wanting to talk about how amazing today was and share my experience.”

Shortly after winning a gold medal in Pyeongchang, White was asked by a reporter if he was concerned that the allegations made a year and a half ago would tarnish his legacy.

“Honestly, I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip,” White said. “But I don’t think so. I am who I am and I’m proud of who I am, and my friends love me and vouch for me, and I think that stands on its own.”

When the reporter followed up and asked White if the allegations were “gossip,” the moderator of the press conference jumped in.

“I think we’re here to talk about the gold medal and the amazing day we had today,” the moderator said. “Thank you, so if we don’t have another question, why don’t we go ahead and pass the mic.”

“I feel like I addressed it,” responded White, after the reporter asked for the allegations to be addressed.

White had previously denied sexually harassing Lena Zawaideh, the drummer in White’s band, Bad Things, who filed a civil suit against the gold medalist in August 2016. Zawaideh accused White of sending her explicit pictures and forcing her to watch disturbing pornography when she was 17 or 18 years old.

According to Zawaideh, White threatened to hit her on multiple occasions when the band was practicing, and he allegedly demanded that she dress a certain way, among other allegations. White admitted to sending text messages to Zawaideh, though he denied the other accusations.

“Many years ago, I exchanged texts with a friend who is now using them to craft a bogus lawsuit,” White told TMZ in 2016. “There is absolutely no coincidence to the timing of her claims, and we will defend them vigorously in court.

The two sides reached an undisclosed settlement in May last year.

White won his third gold medal by earning a score of 97.75 in the men’s halfpipe final. He bounced back after coming up short four years ago in Sochi, where he failed to repeat what he was able to do in both 2006 and 2010.

“I’ve grown as a person over the years, and it’s amazing how life works and twists and turns and lessons learned,” White told NBC. “Every experience in my life, I feel like it’s taught me a lesson and I definitely feel like I’m a much more changed person than when I was younger and I’m proud of who I am today.”