Brittney Griner Reveals She Considered Suicide While Imprisoned in Russia

Brittney Griner reveals that during her time confined in a Russian prison cell, she struggled with thoughts of taking her own life on multiple occasions.

In a recent extensive interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the WNBA superstar opened up about the unsettling thoughts that entered her mind during her time behind bars in Russia. The incident occurred in February 2022 when she was arrested for carrying vape cartridges in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

Griner admitted to having experienced overwhelming thoughts of ending her life on multiple occasions during the initial weeks. She expressed the intense desire to escape from her current situation.

She didn’t go through with it, the 33-year-old told Roberts, because she was afraid that her family wouldn’t be able to retrieve her body.

She expressed her reluctance, saying, “I cannot subject them to such a situation. I must bear this burden myself.”


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At one point, Russian officials compelled her to write a letter asking for forgiveness and expressing gratitude to their so-called great leader, Vladimir Putin.

“I didn’t want to do it,” she admitted, “but deep down, I longed to return home.”


In December 2022, the U.S. made an agreement to send Viktor Bout, a convicted arms dealer, to Russia in exchange for the release of Griner.

In a heartfelt conversation with Roberts, Griner opened up about the immense guilt she carried, expressing that she felt as though she had let everyone down.

After returning to the United States, Griner has taken on the role of an advocate for individuals who have been unjustly imprisoned abroad. Additionally, she is eagerly anticipating the arrival of her first child with her wife, Cherelle.

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She is currently flourishing in her hoops career, continuing to excel in the WNBA as she prepares to embark on another season with the Phoenix Mercury in just a few weeks.

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