Our long national Rio robbery nightmare is almost over. Jimmy Feigen, the fourth of four swimmers involved in the Ryan Lochte robbery-that-wasn’t-really-a-robbery-but-still-was-a-Brazilian-shakedown that overshadowed the entire second week of the Olympics, has released his own statement on the night in question.
Feigen’s account of the evening is generally the same as those presented by fellow swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz. “We pulled over to a gas station to use the bathroom but the door was locked,” Feigen said in the statement. “We did not force entry into the bathroom, nor did we ever enter the bathroom. We did, however, make the regrettable decision to urinate in the grass behind the building.”
From there, the situation amplified. “On our way back to the cab, Ryan Lochte pulled a poster in a metal frame off a wall,” Feigen said. “I got back into the cab and waited for the others. One of my teammates told me that a man with a gun was standing outside the cab. The man with the gun spoke with the cab driver, who got out of the cab. We then got out of the cab and I paid the driver the fare. As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammates and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit. This was the first time I have ever had a gun pointed at me and I was terrified.” Feigen and Bentz would go on to pay for the poster.
Feigen indicated that he was interviewed multiple times by police as Lochte was recounting his own “version” of the events involving a dispute at a gas station ten days ago. Feigen said he was finally given a choice: wait in Brazil for a month while the wheels of bureaucracy turned, or pay a fine of roughly $31,500 to get his passport back.
Feigen and his attorneys protested that fee, and Brazilian officials responded by raising to almost $47,000. The two sides eventually reached a $10,800 compromise. The fluid nature of the negotiations lends credence to the idea that Rio police may have stretched the truth a bit on their end, as well.
“I was able to contact my family in the United States along with my American attorneys and we were able to satisfy the payment of the fine the next day,” Feigen said. “My passport was returned to me after payment was received, and I was able to return home.”
Feigen admitted that he left out some key facts in an attempt to protect Lochte. “I omitted the facts that we urinated behind the building and that Ryan Lochte pulled a poster off the wall,” he said. “I realize I made a mistake by omitting these facts. I was trying to protect my teammates and for this I apologize.”
The story continues to unfold stateside, with several sponsors abandoning Lochte.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.