Miley Cyrus has faced criticism online after befriending Olympic gold medallist Shaun White, despite the snowboarder and rocker facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Wrecking Ball hitmaker took to Instagram on Tuesday (20Feb18) to share a photo of herself hanging out with the sportsman, a week after he took home gold in the men’s halfpipe at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
In the snap, Miley pulled a face as she wore his latest medal around her neck, holding up his dog, Leroy, in one hand, and a prayer candle featuring an image of Shaun in the other.
“Chillin’ with an American legend… and I mean @leroythegoodboy,” she joked. “Kidding @shaunwhite, you are the s**t! So bada**! Proud of you!”
Fans were quick to share their congratulatory messages for Shaun online, but some people were left unimpressed by Miley’s snap with the snowboarder, who recently apologized for dismissing claims of sexual harassment made against him as “gossip” in a TV interview after his big win at the Olympics.
“I love you @mileycyrus but Shaun is an alleged abuser who hasn’t dealt with the accusations tastefully, calling them gossip. Stay aware,” posted one follower, while a second Instagram user asked, “Why everyone ignored the abuse allegations against Shaun White (sic)”.
“Disappointed you’re associating with him, especially as a feminist,” read another comment. “still love you doe (sic).”
The misconduct allegations originally hit headlines in a 2016 lawsuit filed against Shaun by his former Bad Things drummer Lena Zawaideh. They settled the case last summer (17), but when the sports ace was quizzed about the accusations shortly after his halfpipe victory, he brushed them off by telling reporters, “I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff.”
White, 31, subsequently expressed his regret at his “poor choice of words”, insisting he is a changed man.
Miley has yet to respond to the backlash online, but she has previously voiced her backing of the Time’s Up and #MeToo anti-harassment movements, even holding a white rose on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards last month (Jan18) to show her support to victims of sexual misconduct.