It has been two months since WNBA player, Brittney Griner, was sentenced to nine and a half years for pleading guilty to Russian drug possession charges. Now, the 31-year-old’s wife has spoken publicly for the first time about the verdict.
In a clip from the CBS Mornings interview, Cherelle Griner told Gayle King that Brittney’s imprisonment feels like “she’s a hostage.”
She added, “I’m like, in no world did I ever thought, you know, our president and a foreign nation’s president would be sitting down having to discuss the freedom of my wife. And so to me, as much as everybody’s telling me a different definition of what BG is, it feels to me as if she’s a hostage.”
“It terrifies me, because when you watch movies, sometimes those situations don’t end well, sometimes they never get their person back,” she continued. King followed up in the interview emphasizing that, unlike a high-stakes political drama, Brittney’s situation is real.
“Exactly, this is my life, and so I’m sitting there like, ‘Do we get her back? Do I ever get to see my wife again? Like, what happens [next]?'” Cherelle agreed. “The fact that everything is so unprecedented and everything is like, changeable, I think is a really good word. I feel like every day I’m hearing something new, and so it’s just.. it’s terrifying.”
Griner pled guilty to bringing less than 1 gram of cannabis oil into Russia, and claimed that she did so “inadvertently,” asking the court for leniency.
“That’s why I pled guilty to my charges,” she stated in court, “I understand everything that’s been said against me, the charges that are against me and that is why I pled guilty but I had no intents to break any Russian laws.”
According to PEOPLE, Griner’s lawyers say her sentencing is “absolutely unreasonable” and that they will “certainly file an appeal.”
“I want to thank President Biden for yesterday’s meeting as well as the Administration for its efforts to secure my wife’s release,” she wrote in the caption. “It was an honor to speak with him directly about the Brittney we know and love. I’ve felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her. I look forward to the day my wife is back home.”
She continued, “As my family and I continue on this journey, I’d like to thank the broad coalition of friends, leaders and supporters who continue to stand with us and advocate for Brittney’s swift and safe return. Let’s share a unified commitment to bringing all Americans home to their families and loved ones. Together We Are BG.”
On Monday (Oct. 3), the AP revealed Griner’s appeal hearing date is scheduled for Oct. 25, which the White House said is “another sham judicial proceeding,” according to King in the CBS interview.