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ABC News Announces ‘20/20’ Primetime Special ‘Prisoner in Russia: The Brittney Griner Interview’

ABC News’ “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts sat with two-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner for an exclusive primetime interview, Griner’s first since returning to the United States after being detained in Russia. In the wide-ranging interview, Griner talks candidly for the first time about her harrowing arrest and time in prison, where she describes feeling “less than human” and the suicidal thoughts she had while being detained. She also talks about navigating the Russian penal system and the anguish she experienced being what she calls a political prisoner. The special reveals new details about the negotiations behind the prisoner swap that led to Griner’s release and goes home with her as she unzips her duffle bag from Russia, sharing a few personal possessions she says got her through the ordeal.

In February 2022, while returning to her Russian basketball team during the WNBA off-season, Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport for possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil just days before Russia invaded Ukraine. She was later sentenced to nine years in prison and was released on December 8, 2022, after a 10-month detainment.

Roberts also speaks with Griner’s wife, attorney Cherelle Griner, about her role in rallying for Brittney’s release. Additional interviews include special presidential envoy of hostage affairs Roger Carstens and Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas.

The one-hour primetime “20/20” special, “Prisoner in Russia: The Brittney Griner Interview” with Robin Roberts, airs Wednesday, May 1, at 10:01 p.m. EDT/9:01 p.m. CDT, next day on Hulu. A first look airs on “Good Morning America” Wednesday morning (7:00-9:00 a.m. EDT).

In addition to this special, Griner has partnered exclusively with ESPN and Disney Entertainment Television to share her story through various projects on their platforms. A documentary feature from ESPN Films and scripted series development with ABC Signature are in the works.

Brittney Griner’s memoir, “Coming Home,” is available on Tuesday, May 7.

The primetime special “Prisoner in Russia: The Brittney Griner Interview” with Robin Roberts is a production of ABC News’ “20/20” and ABC News Studios. Janice Johnston and Jonathan Blakely are executive producers. The special is senior produced by Eboni Griffin, Joseph Diaz and Katie Conway.

Michelle Beck
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