Ryan Lochte on Rio 'Robbery' Scandal: 'I'm Embarrassed For Myself'

The details of Ryan Lochte‘s so-called “robbery” in Rio are still a bit fuzzy, but Matt Lauer attempted to get to the bottom of the story Saturday night.

In Lochte’s first interview since admitting he “over-exaggerate[d]” his earlier claim that he and three other U.S. swimmers had been robbed at gunpoint in Brazil, when in fact they had vandalized a gas station and were confronted by a security guard to pay for the damages, the Olympian told Lauer that he takes “full responsibility” for embellishing his story.

“If I didn’t over-exaggerate the story… none of this would have happened,” Lochte told the Today anchor. “We wouldn’t be sitting here discussing this. I left certain things out. That’s why I’m in this mess.”

The gold medalist went on to blame his intoxicated state for much of the confusion, noting that “it was my immature behavior” that led to the vandalism, after he’d “definitely had too much to drink that night.”

Other highlights from Lochte’s Q&A:

* On whether or not he was legitimately robbed in Rio: “I can’t answer that. I was intoxicated. All I know is there was a gun pointed at us, and we were demanded to give money. Whether it was extortion or a robbery… that’s why people can look at it from different directions.”

* On watching his teammates get pulled off a plane departing Brazil, before having their passports suspended: “I let my team down,” Lochte said through tears. “I don’t want them to think that I left them dry. I took away from their accomplishments by being immature for one night. That’s what hurts the most.”

* On being a role model for future swimmers: “I’m embarrassed for myself… I know what I did was wrong. All I can do now is better myself in making sure this stuff never happens again. I don’t want them to look at me like a drunk frat boy. I definitely want to be a role model for those young kids.”

The remaining six minutes of Lauer’s interview with Lochte will air Monday on Today. In the meantime, tell us: Did Lauer go too easy on him? Was Lochte remorseful enough?

Watch a segment of the interview above, then hit the comments with your thoughts.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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86 Comments
  1. Simon Jester says:

    You’re not the only one who’s embarrassed, you immature d0uchebag.

  2. Pam says:

    What a tool. At 32 he still doesn’t have the judgement to know that his behavior was wrong from start to finish. I hope he loses every single endorsement.

  3. Emily says:

    aw i’m glad he realized his mistake. i still love you lochte!

  4. Kelby Jackson says:

    Sounds like he was actually robbed or extorted at gunpoint. Perhaps he was doing something bad, but the criminal police in Brazil are known to be extortionists and thugs generally.

    • Daniel Dias says:

      That’s like saying Americans are known to be cowboys. Don’t generalize. That said, I’m sure it was within his rights to complain about being harassed by armed guards about some drunken disordely, but he didn’t have to do what he did.

      • Sam says:

        It is nothing like saying Americans are known to be cowboys. Walk up to a thousand separate Americans and you’ll be lucky to find one cowboy. Walk up to ten separate Brazilian police officers you’ll be lucky if you DON’T find a corrupt one.

        • Daniel Dias says:

          I’m glad you know everything about Brazil. My apologies.

        • Lala says:

          But in this instance the Brazilians were actually dealing with bratty entitled moronic americans who think they can act however they wish anywhere in the world because they are americans!! Disgraceful!

          • grazelled says:

            I don’t think being American was the reason they acted this way. It looks like they had over inflated egos from winning medals fueled by who knows how much alcohol.

        • A fan of TV says:

          Aww look at you go with all your pretend knowledge supporting a story that has already been disproven. There were no cops in this scenario, just security guards and a shop owner. The swimmers took before police got there, then Lochte told his mom a big lie to explain why he had no more money, so he wouldn’t have tell her he’d been drink and paid for prostitutes.

          • Ben says:

            Well… according to witnesses there were women in those cars, but nobody talk about prostitutes (neither about their official girlfriends btw.. so maybe that’s why they lie).

    • David4 says:

      He’s a liar. He destroyed parts of a gas station, then went on TV and said he was ‘pulled over’ and robbed. He was never pulled over, he was ordered to pay $50 in damages and had a gun pulled on him because there are four drunken divers, who are big, acting insane. He should be happy he isn’t black and in America otherwise he be dead right now.

    • Stephen A. says:

      It’s sickening how racist Americans are. They’ll excuse immature criminal behavior as long as it’s white.
      He played on the stereotypes of Brazilians and he knew racist Americans would fall for it. Nevermind his acts in their country and his subsequent lies and his cowardly escape.

  5. Lynne says:

    Over exaggerated is just a fancy way of saying “lied my out of my @$$ because I’m a fuc|<in idiot."

  6. Ron says:

    Such. A. Punchable. Face! Screw your personal embarrassment; you embarrassed your country, you highly dimmed lightbulb. Ugh, frat-bro douches are the literal worst–and it’s 100x worse when you’re 32. Stop acting half that age. In my opinion, the thing I find most atrocious about this whole thing is that he took a very real problem the entire country of Brazil is facing, and exploited it because he didn’t want to take responsibility for his drunken, immature actions. What a no-nutted suck weasel…

    • David4 says:

      Perfectly said. People think I don’t like to date white guys. I’m always annoyed by that, I don’t like to date ‘bros’ who think they are better than everyone else so they can lie and make excuses for their actions. It’s even worst when they are gay.

      He’s a disgrace to the USA and like you said, he took a real problem that Brazil is facing and then tried to use it to cover his own butt. Yeah, I’m not believing him.

  7. madbengalsfan85 says:

    If he gets thrown off the team for this, I will be perfectly fine with it.

  8. Michael says:

    Jeah!

  9. KDS says:

    Give him a break. Seems like a heartfelt apology for stupid actions that really are NOT THAT BAD. I call it lapse of judgement in a unique situation: Olympics, foreign country, training and competition over, time to cut loose. What about the guy who was pointing the gun? Where’s his apology? That’s worse behavior. Maybe some hate Lochte because he has the looks and persona of a privileged frat boy. He seems genuinely contrite to me.

    • Silv says:

      Contrite alright, someone smacked him upside the head with the reality his lucrative endorsements and future Olympic activities are on the line. As they should be… And calling him a frat boy is rather silly at his age. Hope he has some other skill because he needs to be released from companies using him for endorsements.

      • Stacy says:

        Children are always contrite once you threaten to take away their toys. I’ve got a 3 year old in the family who is smart enough to apologize as soon as he’s told he’s getting a timeout. Because he’s trying to avoid his punishment. This dipstick is still behaving like that 3 year old.

    • Mike says:

      To every action comes a reaction, This idiot vandalizes and the policeman did his job. You are saying that it is not that bad. Ok so maybe if I go and steal a little it´s NOT THAT BAD. I just stole a little so I will just say Im sorry and everything will be ok.

    • Lala says:

      Oh so now it’s bad that the cop was pointing a gun at some vandals but when cops in america shoot innocent people it’s all good!! Honestly what is wrong with some of you Americans. Imbeciles!!

      • Chrippy says:

        It wasn’t a cop, it was a security guard. Lochte said it was a cop that pulled them over and robbed them, that was part of the lie. There were never any cops involved until it was reported.

    • Stephen A. says:

      Yep, he’s white and pretending to be sorry so all good. You’re what’s wrong with America. He’s contrite that he got caught. The SECURITY GUARD who pointed a gun st him owes him an apology for defending his employees property?
      He played right into the racist hands of Americans and you people give him a pass,but you justify cops shooting down unarmed black men huh?

    • Mary says:

      Wow, do you really believe what you wrote? He is an immature privileged guy who still hasn’t taken responsibility for his action. He is what my Grandmother use to call a poor excuse for a man. The guard shouldn’t have to apologize for doing his job. Their is no excuse for Ryan’s behavior, in fact I think he got off pretty easily. It will cost him as it should, in the long run.

  10. Norman says:

    What Ryan and his buddies did is both reckless and stupid. Being in a foreign country and thinking that by being from the USA they were above the law. But I haven’t heard or read anywhere what authority did the security guard at the gas station have. Were they actual police or like many of the security guards here in the US exclusive of actual police doing off days work.It seems a bit extreme to brandish a firearm for vandalism. Yes, still an alleged crime but not seeming to rise to having a gun out a holster. If the guard couldn’t get them to cooperate all they had to do was get the license plate of the taxi and phone the real police. I AM NOT CONDONING THERE ACTIONS. THEY WERE STUPID AND IRRESPONSIBLE AND SHOULD BE MADE TO PAY RESTITUTION.

    • Daniel Dias says:

      They did call the actual cops. Then Lochte and his friends tried to jump back in the cab and flee. That’s why things got heated. Still, I get your point, I’d be terrified as well. But since those were actual guards with licensed weapons, not much can be done to them. Still… it’s like he’s a little boy who was hurt and cried “bad, mean South Americans stole my money” instead of saying “look, there was no need to brandish a gun there”.

      • Mary says:

        Well if the acted like responsible adult Men especially in a foreign County then there wouldn’t have been a problem. If nothing else the idiots should have just kept their mouth shut after they got away. Proof that some just have no brains.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Just because something seems a bit much for an American security guard, let’s remember a few things. 1) they were not in America. 2) security guards in Brazil and in America are often armed for various reasons, and will brandish them when, in their opinion, a subject is acting erratically (aka drunk and belligerent).

      Just because a security guard wouldn’t pull a gun on a white guy in America for being belligerent and drunk and destructive, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t follow a black guy around a neighbourhood at night and then shoot him after picking a fight with him, and doesn’t mean a white guy in Brazil gets the same priviledged treatment he’d get at home in the USA.

  11. Aly Samson says:

    Let’s get over it . It’s not like they killed or rape somebody this things happens all the time with guys who gets to have too much to drink . Now they know better but for Rio police they over reacted because these are American guys plus they get money and short publicity . After all their country is already known not to a safe place . So what’s the big deal ?

    • Simon Jester says:

      The “big deal” is that Team USA — and American swimming, in particular — was having a great Olympics until Lochte decided to fulfill every “ugly American” and “white privilege” stereotype in the book. He’s a disgrace to all of the athletes who respected the host nation and behaved like adults.

      • Stacy says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I’m flat out ashamed of this guy. We supposedly send our “best and brightest” in athletics to compete and this dude gets wasted and vandalizes a business. I don’t hate him, but I do think he should be disqualified from competing in this year’s Olympics or stripped of current medals.

    • Stephen A. says:

      This is white privilege folks. I guarantee this person lives when American cops shoot down unarmed black men.

      • KP says:

        LOL – how many times are you gonna bring that up in a discussion that has absolutely NOTHING to do with Black Lives Matters. It’s so hard to take you seriously…

    • Mary says:

      Wow your justification is unreal. Being drunk is not an excuse and it is people like you that is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Think about if the situation was reverse and it was a foreign athlete here in the US and this happen. I’m sure you wouldn’t think it was no big deal.

    • A fan of TV says:

      The deal is that the supposed crime in Brazil didn’t touch Lochte at all, but he said it did to avoid the truth. He cried wolf, which, if you’re familiar with the nursery story, has very dire consequences (namely, getting eaten by that wolf). Now the truth smacked him in the face and he’s in desperation mode. The big deal is that he took naive people for fools, including his own mother, and America has more than enough phenomenal swimmers with better attitudes (who aren’t past their prime!), that this brosef can fade away in the past any time now.

  12. Mike says:

    Boohoo! I’m crying so people will feel bad for me cause I lied and tried to make Rio seem like a crime infested place. I caused my teammates to be pulled off a plane and another one pay $11k to get his passport back. Oh, but i’m so sorry, sniff, sniff, and let my PR person write my tweet for me cause I’m too lazy and could care less about the situation cause I’m safely back in the U.S. and let my teammates carry the burden. But please feel sorry for me cause I’m a loser drunk swimmer who likes to vandalize gas stations cause it’s fun. Way to go…now forever and ever he won’t be remembered for his medals, only for his antics in Rio that have disgraced the U.S. swim team. Way to tarnish an Olympic medal.

  13. Polly says:

    in the immortal words of John Oliver on last week’s “Last Week Tonight”: WE DON’T GIVE A FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU*K

  14. Becca says:

    I feel bad for his teammates but not him at all. Not one bit.

  15. Becca says:

    At least his hair is the right color again.

  16. readenreply says:

    They got drunk and trashed a bathroom.
    A security guard waved his gun at them and demanded money for damages.

    that’s the story

  17. Maria says:

    “I don’t want them to look at me like a drunk frat boy.”
    Oh honey…that train left the station a long time ago.

  18. Douglas Kirk says:

    An Apology is not enough. U INSULTED RIO, THEIR CITIZENS, THEIR CULTURE, THEIR INTEGRITY, THEIR HONOR, AND ME, AS AN AMERICAN. Celebrating your medal is great, had U did that here at home, would have been different. NOT IN RIO. U EMBARRASSED ALL OF US. THAT IS NOT THE BEHAVIOR OF AN “OLYMPIAN”, A “MEDAL WINNER”, OR OF AN “AMERICAN”. Return to RIO AND FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS IN PERSON, INSTEAD OF SNEAKING BACK HOME TO SAFETY, BOY.

  19. Dude says:

    Love that so many people are saying that Brazilian authorities pulling their licensed weapons on them is proof of their corruption when American cops needlessly draw their weapons on suspects and/or kill them literally every day.

  20. A 33 year old drunk Olympic athlete insulted his team mates a n s two countries by lying about his actions and is now putting on the spin to save face and millions in endorsements. He is not even a good role model for himself.

  21. Derision says:

    Don’t care, typical media dragging out a dead story.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Just think how much faster stories you don’t care about would disappear if you didn’t pad the comment forums, which serve as an indication of a story’s ‘legs’, with comments about how you apparently don’t care.

  22. Vee says:

    Lochte embarrassed his country and he should be ashamed of himself but I just don’t believe he feels bad about what he did. His a liar and I feel his still lying. You don’t go over to another country playing in the Olympics winning the highest honor for your country and than lie about a robbery that never even happen. I mean what is wrong with him this actually happens in real life to people its not a game or something to play around with its actual crime. I really believe something is wrong with him something not right with him why else would he make up a story that never happen.

  23. DMR says:

    I feel bad for the guy. He exaggerated, it got blown out of proportion and he wasn’t smart enough to clear the air right away. I imagine they were all terrified being as there was a gun pointed at them And what about the fact that the authorities in Brazil said they destroyed a bathroom when in fact they just tore down a five dollar sign? So they were held at gun point for a poster? Bad decisions made by everyone, it shouldn’t ruin his life. Lets move on.

    • Aly Samson says:

      You got that so right — Amen !!!
      People must move on its a done deal and they learned a great deal from this mistake . But not the end for their lives .

      • Mary says:

        This was no mistake. This was an intentional act on his part to not take responsibility for his actions. He made a bad situation worse by lying and how you can justify that is beyond me. Sorry he needs to learn that every action has a reaction can be positive or negative you choose. He chose negative so he has to live with the consequences. Sorry he needs to be held accountable and if that means losing his spot on the team or endorsements well so be it.

    • Jamie says:

      But he didn’t exaggerate – he lied. He straight up made up being robbed at gunpoint. That literally did not happen. He was an idiot and got drunk and broke the law in another country. He should face the consequences for that instead of trying to make himself look like the victim. And police hold people at gunpoint all of the time for less. People are killed by police in the US for less. This idiot doesn’t deserve pity. He deserves the same punishment anyone else would get.

      • Becca says:

        He didn’t just tear down a poster. He also (along with his buddies) broke down a door, urinated on the walls and broke a soap holder. I think it’s reasonable what the guard did. Ryan Lochte just embarrassed our country by doing this.

    • A fan of TV says:

      He’s only lucky that the security guards in Brazil aren’t as trigger happy and willing to pick fights out of nowhere as good ol’ American George Zimmerman, the worst security guard who ever lived, if not among the worst Americans in history.

  24. Cindy says:

    He didn’t ‘over exaggerate’, he lied. Simple. He should be stripped of any medals, and banned from any further games for his stupid immature and embarrassing behaviour!

  25. Abby says:

    Can anyone explain to me why it was necessary for them to lie? Like I could get it if it was a misguided attempt to cover up their own misdeeds but if they just paid the relatively small amounts they were asked to pay in damages and let it go would the story of them in the gas station ever have seen the light of day? I genuinely don’t get why they would feel they had to tell this lie?
    And yes they’ve embarrassed America. The press it’s getting in other parts of the world is not pretty. Brazil may be a corrupt place but them lying to sully the reputation further is absolutely shameful.

    • MMA says:

      It was’t necessary. He lied as you said it. a misguided attempt to cover up their mistakes. And at first he only lied to people close to him like familie or his girlfriend or the people responsible for the US team becouse they atives at the lodgings way after they should. For the gas station everything was resolved after they payd for the damages
      BUT his mother posted about it on social media and unfortunately for him EVERY claim about any kind of violence against the atlets were being fully investigated by the police no matter the source or if it was just a rumour. Security is a issue in Brazil that is a fact and the governement new the whole world would be watching so they did everything it was possible to make sure anything happened and have people saying “i told you so that brazil cound not protect the atlets and host the olympic ganes” as it was largely said after the news of the “robbery” got on the news
      Lochte was stupid enough to continue with the story when the police asked him about it and that made the police investigate the ” robbery” the rest you guys know
      Sorry for any spelling mistakes i’m brazilian

  26. Sara says:

    As someone who actually follows swimming and watches all the meets, not just the big one every 4 years, I am sick of the hate he is getting. Yes, he acted poorly. Yes, he deserves some form of punishment for his misconduct. But he isn’t a doper and he didn’t hurt anyone, so he shouldn’t be permanently banned. If the USOC didn’t ban Gatlin and Gay for doping, they shouldn’t ban Lochte.

    Also, all the swimmers agree they were held at gunpoint and forced to turn over money. Further, Feigan had to give over $11000 to get his passport, and the Brazilian government actually demanded almost $50000! For ripping a sign and peeing in bushes and filing a report that the Brazilian police forced them to file. They were forced to go to the police by the USOC. Austrailan atheletes are also being held like Feigan and forced to pay outrageous fines to go home. Why is this ok?

    • bigdede says:

      If all this happened in America and those swimmers were Black, you wouldn’t even be questioning why the police pulled a gun out on them and demanded money

    • Radha says:

      Sick of the hate? It’s been a week since his lies have been exposed. Get over it. Gabby Douglas got hate for much less and for WAY longer, but at least she hasn’t committed any vandalism. Stop making excuses for him. IF he would admit he was stupid, lied and made up the story, I’d give him a lot more credit. He’s still unable to truly see he did anything wrong and is only “sorry” because he got caught in his lies. Sick of the hate my foot.

  27. parstl says:

    Good to hear some criticism. I thought people in US would brush it off as boys being boys. He needs to be disciplined by the Olympic committee.
    His actions were worthy of serious action unlike unfair comments by some early in the Olympics about Gabby not singing the anthem while Phelps was talking during one of the playing of the anthem.
    Rest assured, if Lochte had been Bolt or black track star, there would have been even more outcry.

  28. Caroline says:

    I am sorry that he, even now, does not admit he lied. “Over exaggeration” “immature behavior” does not translate as taking full responsibility for his actions, nor an apology to Brazil, the Olympics, the athletes. I would have had more respect if he had.

  29. Kim says:

    Here’s the thing: there were well over a thousand Olympic athletes that behaved. They were role models and did exactly what they came to the Olympics to do. Then this jack hole and his bro mentality, does something stupid and brings all this attention to acting like an idiot. Oy.

  30. A fan of TV says:

    Everyone goes easy on Ryan Lochte. It’s how he graduated high school and it’s how he thought he could ever get away with such an egregious lie in the first place. Someone should get some cojones and ask him about the prostitutes.

  31. Tennisnsun says:

    Ryan keeps using alcohol as his out for this fiasco. “It’s not MY fault, the alcohol made me do it”! This is a common reaction from those who don’t want to admit to themselves or others that they need treatment. I hope he ultimately deals with this problem. It still does not excuse all the other deplorable actions he took surrounding the incident. Leaving his teammates behind to take the fall for his behavior is one of the worst. I was happy this morning to see that Speedo has dropped him. I hope all his other sponsors soon follow and that the Olympic Committee delivers serious sanctions.

  32. Sue says:

    We’re all embarrassed. Between this guy and Trump, both of whom suffer from arrested development, the world must think we’ve all lost our minds.

  33. C.Sevier says:

    I believe that the Brazilian people and police at that gas station over reacted. They found a way to extort money.
    11 thousand dollars! Really? Did you see that bathroom? That’s enough to rebuild a few of their gas stations! Shame on Americans that didn’t stand behind Ryan. You all acted like he killed somebody. What would or government do if they wanted to take him back to Brazil? Knowing our president, he would turn him over to Brazil and then go golfing! Leave Trac alone!