Ryan Lochte Rio “Robbery” Scandal: Fact Vs. Fiction
Ryan Lochte’s Rio “robbery” scandal continues to spark debate, even with the Olympics closing ceremony taking place on Sunday. As Gossip Cop reported, last week Lochte claimed he was robbed at gunpoint, but it later emerged that armed security guards demanded payment after he allegedly vandalized a gas station, and Lochte issued an apology statement. But since much confusion remains about what did and didn’t happen, Gossip Cop is separating fact from fiction about Lochte’s infamous international incident.
FICTION: Ryan Lochte and his teammates were driving back to the Olympic village when they were pulled over by police impersonators.
FACT: This was Lochte’s initial claim, but it’s not true. Lochte’s taxi cab was already stopped at a gas station when, before they could leave, armed security guards (not fake police officers) ordered the men out of the vehicle to discuss damage caused to the facility’s bathroom.
FICTION: One of the police impersonators held a gun to Lochte’s head and cocked it.
FACT: This was also among Lochte’s original allegations, but it’s largely false. One of the security guards did take his gun out of his holster, but it was never put to Lochte’s head and cocked.
FICTION: Lochte caused significant damage to the gas station’s bathroom.
FACT: There are differing accounts on the extent of the damage, but Lochte admitted to ripping a poster on a wall. He denied entering the bathroom and vandalizing a mirror and soap dispenser. As for kicking the restroom’s door, Lochte said, “I was very intoxicated. I don’t remember.”
FICTION: All of the U.S. swimmers committed vandalism.
FACT: Lochte has confessed he is in the only guilty party. “It was me. I’m taking full responsibility for everything,” Lochte told Matt Lauer in a “Today” show interview broadcast on Monday.
FICTION: Lochte purposefully left Rio to avoid being charged with a crime.
FACT: Lochte met with local officials before flying out of Brazil. After he had already left, the government requested he surrender his passport. His camp maintains his flight to the U.S. was pre-scheduled before the incident, and he simply left the country as originally planned.
FICTION: Lochte admitted lying to his mother, as well as Billy Bush and Matt Lauer.
FACT: Lochte certainly lied about a number of his claims (see the first two “fiction” items above), and omitted other events that did take place. That said, he did not actually admit to lying in his follow-up interview with Lauer, instead saying he “over-exaggerated.” And in his Brazilian interview with Globo TV, Lochte said, “I wasn’t lying to a certain extent.”
FICTION: Lochte is in the clear with in Brazilian authorities and the U.S. Olympics Committee.
FACT: Both officials in Brazil and the UOSC have indicated they are continuing to investigate the situation, and punishment is not out of the question. On Monday, Speedo ended its relationship with Lochte. Additional disciplinary actions may still happen.
FICTION: “Dancing with the Stars” rescinded an offer for Lochte to compete on the upcoming season.
FACT: Gossip Cop confirmed the Lochte “Dancing with the Stars” claim, spread by the fabrication factory known as HollywoodLife, is untrue. An invitation to join the show was not nixed, but it’s unclear if one was ever actually on the table in the first place.
Questions remain as to whether Lochte is still holding back certain details and being untruthful in regards to others. Gossip Cop will continue to have updates as appropriate.