- Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, said she is “terrified” that she may never see her wife again.
- Cherelle participated in her first interview with CBS’ Gayle King since Brittney’s sentencing in August.
- “I feel like my wife is stuck in a hostage situation,” Cherelle Griner told King this week.
Cherelle Griner is “terrified” she may never see her wife, WNBA player Brittney Griner, again, who she described as “stuck in a hostage situation.”
Negotiations between the US and Russia have seemingly stalled since the Biden administration said in August it had offered to exchange Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, a former Marine also held illegally in Russia for nearly four years, in exchange for the Russian arms dealer . Victor Booth, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the US.
Recent reports, however, suggest a deal may still be a long way off, after a White House official said Russia is trying to deal with an additional convict in the proposed prisoner swap.
The lack of news makes Cherelle Griner sad.
In her first interview since Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison in August, Cherelle Griner told CBS’s Gayle King that the past eight months have been like a movie.
“I never thought in the world that our president and the president of a foreign nation would sit down to discuss my wife’s freedom,” he told the report.
Brittney Griner was arrested at Moscow airport in February after officials claimed to have discovered vapor cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. The athlete was in Russia to play with the Russian Premier League during the WNBA offseason.
Griner pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in July and was later sentenced to nine years in prison. Legal experts told Insider at the time that Griner’s guilty plea was a strategic move to try to speed up her return process.
The State Department transferred her case to the Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs in May, recharacterizing her detention as “erroneous,” and President Joe Biden has since taken an active role in efforts to recover Brittney Griner. The president met with Cherelle Griner last month to discuss ongoing efforts to bring her wife home.
“I feel like my wife is stuck in a hostage situation,” Cherelle Griner told King this week.
“It scared me because when you watch movies, sometimes these situations don’t end well,” he added. “Sometimes they never get the person back.”
A Russian court is set to hear an appeal of Brittney Griner’s sentence later this month, but the White House said it would be “another sham trial.”
“I’m sitting here like we’re getting her back?” Cherelle Griner said. “Will I ever see my wife again?”