(CNN) – In her first interview since her wife Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia in February, Cherelle Griner has opened up about how she “lay on that couch and cried my eyeballs out” after hearing the news for the first time.
Earlier this month, a Russian court extended WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Griner’s pre-trial detention until at least June following her arrest in February.
According to Russian authorities, Griner had cannabis oil in her luggage and was accused of smuggling significant quantities of a narcotic – a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
“I was stunned. I couldn’t move and then I said, ‘You have to get up now,'” Cherelle Griner said on ABC’s Good Morning America of the moment she learned of her wife’s arrest.
Griner added that she communicates with her wife “sporadically, here and there” via letters and is “absolutely” keen to speak to US President Joe Biden about the situation.
“I keep hearing that he has the power,” Griner said. “She’s a political pawn, so if they’re holding her because they want you [Biden] do something, I want you to do it.”
Three weeks ago, the State Department classified Griner as wrongly imprisoned in Russia.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously said the State Department was working day and night on the case and that Cherelle Griner shouldn’t hesitate to come forward if she didn’t get something.
However, Griner said she doesn’t know if her wife is a priority, as Blinken has described.
“I don’t know,” she said. “He said she’s a top priority, but I want to see it. I want to see it’s me who sees BG on US soil. At this point I don’t even know who I’ll get back if she comes back.”
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