Jimmy Feigen, one of the U.S. Olympic swimmers accused of vandalizing a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has agreed to pay roughly $11,000 in order to leave the country.
Feigen, 26, will donate the money to a Brazilian charity called Reaction Institute to avoid prosecution, the Associated Press reports. His lawyer, Breno Melaragno Costa, announced the agreement on Friday, August 19.
The Hawaiian native's passport was seized and he was detained in a Rio airport after he and his teammates — Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger — claimed that they were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station on Sunday. On Thursday, Brazilian officials stated that the incident never occurred and alleged that the men actually vandalized the property instead.
Lochte apologized for his actions in an Instagram post Friday. "I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics," he wrote. "I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely."
"It's traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country — with a language barrier — and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave," he continued. "But regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event."
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 12-time Olympic medalist — who is already back in the States — recently hired New York-based publicist Matthew Hiltzik.
The United States Olympic Committee apologized to Rio for the controversy on Thursday. "The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members. We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, when we return to the United States," CEO Scott Blackmun told Us Weekly in a statement. "On behalf of the United States Olympic Committee, we apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence."
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