In a charged interview with GMA anchor Robin Roberts, an increasingly frustrated Gary Giordano said he had “absolutely” nothing to do with the the Aug. 2 disappearance of Robyn Gardner, a 35-year-old Frederick County woman.
“I feel as if a person I cared about has disappeared on my watch,” he said, noting that he expects the incident will “weigh heavily” on him for a long time.
Giordano, 50, was detained Aug. 5, three days after he reported that Gardner disappeared while the two were snorkeling off the island’s coast.
In the weeks that followed, authorities conducted aerial, underwater and land searches, some involving teams of cadaver dogs. Gardner’s body has not been found and investigators did not find evidence linking Giordano to her disappearance.
Giordano was released late Tuesday without being charged and returned to New York, as a free man.
When confronted about allegations that he and Gardner had been drinking heavily on the day she disappeared, Giordano said, “We were a sober couple.”
Roberts questioned whether Giordano reacted appropriately in the moments after realizing Gardner had disappeared. A surveillance video shows Giordano, in swim trunks and exercise shoes, pacing and knocking on doors looking for help.
Roberts said he appears to be dry in the video, implying that he didn’t immediately go looking for help, and that he didn’t seem particularly harried in his search for assistance.
“There’s nobody there,” countered Giordano, comparing the moment to turning the last corner of a marathon, expecting a crowd of people, and finding no one to high five.
“I’m supposed to scream into the air?” he asked Roberts rhetorically.
Roberts also asked Giordano why he took out an accident insurance policy in Gardner’s name that authorities have said put him in a position to collect $1.5 million.
Giordano said that he purchased cancellation insurance for both himself and Gardner, and that the Web site he used offers additional insurance options that can be bundled. He wanted accident insurance for himself because he has children, he said, but because of the bundle he had to take one out for Gardner as well.
“When it came down to accident insurance, I couldn’t unselect Robyn,” Giordano said.
Giordano also said that he called the insurance company after the disappearance to inquire about the policy not because he wanted to collect, but because his Aruban attorney at the time told him to.
Finally, Roberts asked Giordano, who was accompanied by an American attorney hired by his family, if he would have done anything differently.
“Absolutely,” Giordano said, calling Roberts’s question “stupid.”
“You can’t un-ring a bell, though.”
To watch the full interview, visit ABC News.