Dennis Rodman apologizes: ‘I had been drinking’

Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for suggesting that an American held captive in North Korea may have done something wrong to deserve his treatment, blaming stress and alcohol for his remarks.

"I want to apologize," Rodman said in a statement to the Associated Press. "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."

In an interview with CNN this week, Rodman appeared to suggest that American missionary Kenneth Bae, who was accused of crimes against North Korea, may have been at fault.

"Do you understand what he did in this country?" Rodman asked CNN's Chris Cuomo. "No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why?"

Rodman has called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a "friend for life." He was in North Korea this week for an exhibition basketball game to honor Kim.

"I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae's family," Rodman said in his statement to AP. "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."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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