Posted on Sun Aug 21st, 2016 10:20am PDT By X17 Staff
Ryan Lochte chatted with NBC’s Matt Lauer in New York City on Saturday, in a bid to clean up the media firestorm he created earlier this week. Lochte made headlines when the news got out that he told authorities he and several teammates from the U.S. Swim Team were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Rio.
In his first sit-down TV interview since the scandal, Lochte admitted that he left out some key details from his initial because he was “still intoxicated” at the time. “That’s why I’m in this mess,” the 32-year-old Olympian explained.
As new reports popped up, the media and the public began to question Lochte’s story, and on Tuesday, Rio police said they “found no evidence” to support Lochte’s claims. In fact, police stated that that the athletes were confronted by security guards and asked to pay for the damage they left at a local gas station.
“I over-exaggerated that story,” Lochte added, noting that the part in his story where an armed robber held a gun to his forehead “didn’t happen.”
When asked why he made it all up, Lochte replied:
- “I don’t know why. It was hours after the incident happened [when I spoke to NBC’s Billy Bush, and] I was still intoxicated. I’m not making that an excuse. I shouldn’t have said that. I over-exaggerated that part. The gun was drawn, but it wasn’t at my forehead. … I’m not making me being intoxicated, like, an excuse. I’m not doing that at all. It was my fault, and I shouldn’t have said that. It’s how you want to make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery, whether you call it extortion, or us paying just for the damages, like, we don’t know. All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction, and we were demanded to give the money.”
Lauer gave Lochte some grief for blaming “mean streets of Rio” rather than his own “dumb behavior,” to which Lochte said, “And that’s why I’m taking full responsibility for it. I’m just really sorry and I hope [the people of Rio] can accept my apology,” he added. “I don’t want little kids to look at me for what I just did, for that one night. I don’t want that.”
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