WNBA star Brittany Griner is barely holding on as she faces a hearing in Russia later this month for her appeal of a nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, according to her wife Cherelle Griner.

While recently speaking with CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King, Griner shared that her wife, who has been detained in Russia since February, is afraid of being forgotten by the United States.

Cherelle believes that her wife has "suffered to the max" and is being held "hostage" in Russia.

Cherelle says she’s only spoken to Brittany twice since the athlete was detained.

In her first interview since Brittany Griner’s sentencing in August, Cherelle Griner has spoken with her wife twice.


According to Cherelle, both conversations were different.

“So the first conversation – it was just so delightful just to hear her voice. At that point I was like, ‘You know what? I think she’s OK. We can–we can survive this,’ she told Gayle King. “The second phone call I just–the minute I hung up I think I cried for about two, three days straight. I did not get out of my bed. It was the most disturbing phone call I’d ever experienced. And I’ve known B.G. 11 years. And so I’m like, ‘That was the most disturbing conversation.’”

She continued, “On its face it just seems like my wife is a hostage, to know that our government and a foreign government is sitting down and negotiating for her release? She’s a hostage.”

Cherelle believes her wife is at her "weakest moment in life."

“She’s very afraid about being left and forgotten in Russia, or just completely used to the point of her detriment,” Cherelle said. “Because she’s, like, you know, saying things to me like, ‘My life just don’t even matter no more.”

What Cherelle thinks it will take to bring Brittany home.

“I feel like at this point, it’s gonna take Putin to have that same mindset and say, ‘You know what? Brittney Griner, who came to my country for seven, eight years and helped my country be recognized through sport, pay taxes in my country, help my country, I’m gonna sit at a table and I’m going to be clear about what I need in return for her release so that we can actually get a meeting of the minds between these two governments,'” Cherelle shared.

“I do believe a crime should warrant a punishment, but it must be balanced. It must be balanced," she continued

“And that, it tears me to pieces to see that this is not balanced for my wife right now. And so I want people to see that, to see the fact that, like, has she suffered enough. Like, B.G. has truly suffered beyond her crime already.”

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