Lochte: I May Have Been 'Most Hated Person in the World'

But swimmer clarifies he never considered suicide after scandal at Rio Olympics
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2017 10:00 AM CDT
Updated Jun 7, 2017 3:35 PM CDT
Lochte on Life After Rio: I Considered Suicide
In this May 12, 2016, file photo, Ryan Lochte listens to a question from the media in Charlotte, NC.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Ryan Lochte spent most of last August on an apology tour for his "immature behavior" at the Rio Olympics, which saw the swimmer jump from pool water into hot water for his role in an incident at a local gas station—an event he originally "over-exaggerated" as an armed robbery attempt, in his own words. But he was more than just remorseful after the commotion, he tells ESPN in an interview published Tuesday: He appeared to say he was suicidal, though he later clarified his remarks. "After Rio, I was probably the most hated person in the world," he told the magazine, adding that "there were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, 'If I go to bed and never wake up, fine.'"

Asked by the interviewer if he meant he wanted to kill himself, he nodded, then replied, "I was about to hang up my entire life." However, after the interview got wide pick-up, Lochte told TMZ, "To be clear, yes I was in a very dark place after Rio, but I never thought about taking my own life. That’s the media twisting what I told ESPN. I would never do that. That’s not me." During his interview with ESPN, he also conceded he and his teammates were "completely hammered" during the Rio incident. The entire interview here, including his fiancee's remark that the Rio scandal was "blown out of proportion." (More Ryan Lochte stories.)

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