Brittney Griner Admits She Was Suicidal in Russian Prison: Interview – Hollywood Life

Brittney Griner Reveals She Was Suicidal in Russian Prison: ‘I Felt Less Than Human’

The WNBA player opened up about the many feelings she went through in the Russian penal colony in the preview for her upcoming '20/20' interview.

Reading Time: 2 minute
brittney griner
View gallery
Image Credit: Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Brittney Griner is set to give her first sit-down interview since being released from a Russian prison in December 2022 with 20/20. In the first preview, the WNBA star, 33, admitted to feeling suicidal and struggling while she was sentenced to a penal colony as part of her sentence. Brittney got emotional while recalling the feeling of being sentenced and how she felt when she was going through it.

The interview with Robin Roberts spans from Brittney’s arrest in February 2022 to her sentencing to her being sent to the penal colony to eventually returning home to the United States. Brittney admitted when she was first arrested and sentenced she had a lot of fear. “My life is over right here,” she said in the preview from People. “I was just so scared for everything.”


Brittney recalled some of the conditions that she endured while going through her arrest. “There was a huge knife sitting on the table, and I was just like, ‘No, this is going to be a ride.’ You gotta do what you gotta do to survive,” she said. “The mattress had a huge bloodstain on it. I had no soap, no toilet paper.”

The WNBA player admitted that after experiencing the conditions in her cell, she just felt like she was at her lowest moment. “That was the moment where I felt less than human,” she said. Robin asked Brittney if she had felt suicidal, and she admitted that she did. “I didn’t think I could get through what I needed to get through,” she said.

The 20/20 interview will air on May 1 on ABC.

Brittney was released as part of a 1-for-1 prisoner swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on December 8, 2022. Upon her return, she signed with the WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury. About a week after she returned, Brittney shared an emotional message on social media. “It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help,” she wrote.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).