WNBA superstar Brittney Griner has been held in Russian custody since February 17 when authorities claim they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil inside her luggage. Griner was put on trial – which most experts considered to be a sham – found guilty, and is now serving a nine-year sentence for drug smuggling and possession charges, even though the cannabis had been prescribed to her.
While the United States and Russia have been engaged in negotiations for a possible prisoner swap for some time now, Griner’s wife Cherelle Griner made it clear in a recent interview that her wife is struggling.
In an interview with CBS News, Cherelle Griner described two very different conversations she had with her wife while she was in Russian custody.
After the first call, she was in good spirits.
“The first conversation, it was just so delightful just to hear her voice,” Cherelle said. “At that point, I was like ‘you know what, I think she’s okay. We can survive this.'”
The second call, however, Cherelle Griner revealed was “the most disturbing phone call” she has ever experienced.
“I think I cried for about two, three days straight. It was the most disturbing phone call I’d ever experienced,” Cherelle Griner said. “You could hear that she was not okay. If you think about just a person’s suffering and when they have suffered to a max… she was at the max that day.”
Cherelle fears that her wife doesn’t have “anything left in her tank” to continue to survive in Russia, especially if she’s moved to a labor camp.
“She’s, like, saying things to me like, ‘My life just don’t even matter no more,'” Cherelle said. “You know, ‘I feel like my life just doesn’t matter. Like, I’m just being tossed around, like, for people’s enjoyment and gain.'”
Cherelle Griner said she hopes the United States can work out a prisoner swap before Brittney Griner’s appeal hearing begins on October 25.