Shortly after news broke that Brittney, 32, had been released from Russian custody in a prisoner exchange for a convinced arms dealer, Cherelle spoke during a conferenza stampa ospitato da Joe Biden at the White House Thursday about her wife’s release.
“So over the last nine months, you all have been so privy to one of the darkest moments of my life, and so today I am just standing here overwhelmed with emotions, but the most important emotion I have right now is just sincere gratitude for President Biden and his entire administration,” ha cominciato.
Noting how Biden, 80, previously mentioned that getting an American citizen back from overseas detainment “is not easy,” Cherelle continued, “There’s been so many hands involved, and so I’d like to take a moment to just specifically mention a few.”
Shouting out Vice President Kamala Harris and Griner’s fellow Phoenix Mercury basketball players, among many others, Cherelle then added, “Oggi la mia famiglia è intera, but as you all are aware, there’s so many other families who aren’t whole.” She then cited Paolo Whelan, another American who remains jailed in Russia and who was not included in the swap centered around Griner.
“Thank you everybody for your support, and today’s just a happy day for me and my family, so I’m gonna smile right now,” Cherelle added. “Grazie.”
Non perdere mai una storia: iscriviti a Newsletter giornaliera gratuita di PEOPLE per essere sempre aggiornato sul meglio di ciò che le PERSONE hanno da offrire, da succose notizie sulle celebrità a avvincenti storie di interesse umano.
Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug smuggling charges, era released in a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout di giovedì, CBS News reported, citing a U.S. ufficiale.
The exchange agreement between Griner and Bout was recently negotiated with Moscow and was given final approval by Biden last Thursday, five former U.S. officials told the outlet.
Vuoi ricevere le storie più importanti da LE PERSONE ogni giorno della settimana? Iscriviti al nostro nuovo podcast, PERSONE ogni giorno, per ottenere la celebrità essenziale, intrattenimento e notizie di interesse umano dal lunedì al venerdì.
Before delivering his remarks during the same press conference as Cherelle, Biden twittato: “Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home,” alongside photographs of himself, Harris, 58, and Cherelle.
Griner was previously sentenced to nine years in prison on Aug. 10, just below the maximum allowed sentence of 10 anni. Griner’s lawyers said at the time, in una dichiarazione condivisa con PEOPLE, that the verdict, è “absolutely unreasonable” and said they will “certainly file an appeal.”
VIDEO CORRELATO: WNBA Star Brittney Griner Released from Russian Custody in Prisoner Swap
In his Thursday morning speech, Biden celebrated Griner’s release from Russian custody. “Good morning folks, and it is a good morning,” Biden, who was standing before Harris and Cherelle, iniziò.
“momenti fa, standing together with her wife Cherelle in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner. lei è safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances,” Lui continuò.
“Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should’ve been there all along,” Biden ha aggiunto. “This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release. It took painstaking and intense negotiations, and I wanna thank all the hardworking public servants across my administration who worked tirelessly to secure her release.”
He then also thanked “the UAE for helping us facilitate Brittney’s return, cause that’s where she landed. These past few months have been hell for Brittney and for Cherelle, and her entire family and all her teammates back home,” Egli ha detto.
Biden later noted that Griner will be back in the U.S. in “il prossimo 24 ore.”