A day after singing “Happy Birthday” to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and two days after telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that Kenneth Bae, an American citizen held captive in North Korea, was responsible for his own imprisonment, Dennis Rodman issued an apology today. Via the Associated Press:
"I want to apologize," Rodman said. "I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It's not an excuse, it's just the truth.
"I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae's family. I want to apologize to my teammates and my management team. I also want to apologize to Chris Cuomo. I embarrassed a lot of people. I'm very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I'm truly sorry."
Rodman, who is on his fourth trip to North Korea this week, has been slammed for not using his power and influence – whatever they may be – to help free Bae. Bae, a missionary who is reportedly in poor health, is being held in the country for “anti-state” crimes. Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, upset with Rodman’s comments had this to say to Seattle’s KOMO radio earlier this week:
"Here's somebody who is in a position to do some good for Kenneth and refuses to do so. …And then after the fact, instead, he decides to hurl these unqualified accusations against Kenneth. It's clear he has no idea what he's talking about. I'm not sure who he's talking to, where he's getting his information, but he's certainly no authority on Kenneth Bae."
It seems Rodman agrees.
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