Brittney Griner Recalls Her Self-Harm Thoughts In Russian Prison

It’s been over a year since Brittney Griner boarded a plane headed home from Russia. The WNBA player spent nearly ten months locked up after a Russian court sentenced her to nine years in prison for attempted drug smuggling. Now, Griner is opening up in an upcoming ABC special about what she felt during her imprisonment.

Brittney Griner Sheds Tears Recalling Time In Russia

As mentioned, Griner recently sat with ‘Good Morning America’ host Robin Roberts and detailed her experience at length for the first time.

The full interview won’t be out until next month. However, in a special preview by PEOPLE, Brittney Griner became visibly emotional while recalling her thoughts of self-harm at the time. She described a moment where she had access to a knife and almost considered using it on herself.

“I was just so scared about everything,” Griner said in tears, recalling her sentencing.

See what else she shared below.

What Else Did Brittney Reveal?

As mentioned, Griner was ultimately sentenced to nearly a decade in a penal colony. This occurred in Aug., almost six months after Russian officials detained her at a Moscow airport in Feb. 2022. At the time, they had discovered vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

She had pled guilty to the charges in July 2022 but denied that she intended to break the law and admitted to making “an honest mistake.” She seemingly maintained this stance in her forthcoming ABC Special.

Speaking to Robin Roberts, Griner described the moment airport officials asked her to go through her bag. When she felt the cartridge, Brittney Griner says her first thought was, “My life is over right here.” 

The pro-athlete told Roberts that she had never brought cannabis into the country before. Before her arrest, Brittney had previously traveled to Russia to play ball there during the American off-season.

Her return home came in Dec. 2022 when the U.S. and Russia facilitated a prisoner swap–Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

RELATED: Brittney Griner Breaks Her Silence & Pens A Lengthy, Emotional Message After Imprisonment

Watch the full interview preview below.

Over A Year Later, Brittney & Her Wife Have Started New Chapters

Since her return home, Brittney Griner and her wife Cherelle have written more positive chapters in their story.

In Feb. 2023, a year after her detainment, she re-signed with the WNBA Phoenix Mercury team on a $165,000 one-year contract. At the top of this month, she signed with the team again, per CNN.

More good news? The couple announced earlier this month that they were expecting their first child together. The baby is due in July.

Griner is already a parent of twins with her ex-wife, Glory Johnson. They welcomed the children in 2015 before ending their union the following year.

Meanwhile, Cherelle has added a couple of firsts to her roster. Besides being a first-time mother, she officially became a lawyer in April 2023, per PEOPLE.

Brittney’s ABC ’20/20′ special premieres on May 1. Her memoir about the experience will hit the stands on May 7.

RELATED: Brittney Griner Says She Would Never Play Overseas Again Except For This One Reason

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