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Brittney Griner Reveals Harrowing Details of Ten Months in Russian Prison

WNBA star Brittney Griner spoke extensively for the first time about her arrest in Russia during an interview with ABC on Wednesday night.

Griner was moving from New York to Moscow in February of 2022, as she played for the Russian basketball club MMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA season.

Russian authorities arrested him in Moscow after finding vape cartridges containing cannabis-based oil.

He went to trial in Russia and was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony.

The Phoenix Mercury reported that he contemplated suicide during his 10-month stint in a Russian prison.

“I wanted to take my life more than once in the first weeks,” Griner said he told interviewer Robin Roberts. “I felt like I was going very badly here.”

The seven-time WNBA All-Star explained that she decided not to continue because she was afraid that her body would not be released to her family.

Griner also spoke about the terrible living conditions in his prison cell, which had a mattress “with a lot of blood on it…

All this made him feel “less than human.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist said he underwent further psychological tests after his arrest and was worried about going to school because Russian authorities consider homosexuality a mental illness.

The only reason Griner was released was because the US made a deal to exchange him for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Before his release, Griner was forced to write a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“They made me write this book. It was in Russian,” he said. “I had to ask for forgiveness and gratitude from their leader who they call their grandfather. I didn't want to do it, but at the same time I wanted to go home.”

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or send a message to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

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