Ryan Lochte’s teammate Conor Dwyer came to the embattled Olympic swimming champ’s defense following his Rio de Janeiro robbery scandal.
Chatting with Maria Menounos during the Tuesday, August 23, episode of her Conversations With radio show, Dwyer, 27, insisted to the E! personality that Lochte, 32, is a “genuinely good guy” who just happened to make a very big mistake in alleging that he and teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen were robbed at gunpoint at a Rio gas station.
Dwyer, who claims to have been hanging out with Lochte, Bentz, 20, Conger, 21, and Feigen, 26, an hour before their trip to the station took place, told Menounos, 38, that he chose to attend a party instead of accompanying the four men back to the village on that fateful night.
"I was with them for, like, an hour, and I just wanted to go check out another place," he recounted. "They were staying at the France House, so I didn't see really anything of the night."
As previously reported, authorities said that Lochte and his buddies had "fabricated" the story to cover up their alleged involvement in vandalizing the station. Following multiple — and inconsistent — accounts of #Lochtegate, Rio police stated on Thursday, August 18, that the guys were simply asked by station security guards to pay for the damage they had allegedly left in the bathroom.
"It's tough that it took away from some other people that were crushing it at the Olympics,” Dwyer continued to Menounos, “but I'm sure it'll roll over soon."
He added, too, that despite their actions, he believes Lochte, Bentz, Conger and Feigen "are all nice guys.” Dwyer explained, "It's just bad stuff happens to good people and I'm sure they'll bounce back from it."
For his part, Lochte owned up to his “immature, intoxicated behavior” during an August 20 sit-down with NBC’s Matt Lauer. “I left details out, and that’s why I’m in this mess,” he shared in his first televised interview since the scandal. The former reality star also claimed that he was “still intoxicated” when he made the false allegations. “I’m just really sorry and I hope [the people of Rio] can accept my apology.”
In the wake of the controversy, the decorated swimmer has lost endorsements and sponsorships from companies including Speedo, Ralph Lauren and Gentle Hair Removal.
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