Michael Phelps is set to do his first televised interview since the incident in which he was photographed smoking from a bong.
The Olympic medalist will sit down with Matt Lauer for a one-on-one that will air Friday March 13th during the Today Show, and again on Sunday March 15th on Dateline.
During the interview, Matt asks Phelps if he was smoking marijuana, and he replies, “It was a bad mistake. I mean, we all know what… you and I are talking about. It’s a stupid mistake. You know, bad judgment. And it’s something that… I have to, and I want to teach other people not to make that mistake.”
Phelps also speaks out about his alleged “friends” he was with who took the picture, that later ended up on News Of The World. He says, “You know, it’s funny at times. Take a picture with a cell phone… I’ll say that there are a lot of people out there who want to take advantage of any situation they have. I trusted my friends who were there about who they were. And clearly they weren’t trusted people… Sometimes you learn the hard way.”
Michael really does seem like he’s repentant about the incident. He tells Matt, “The people I hurt, you know, is my family, clearly. My friends. The close people around me. And most importantly, the fans. And… I realize that that hurt a lot of people.”
As for the numerous contracts he’s now lost, Phelps says it’s less about the money than people think. He says, “It’s not about money to me. The contract side of things, yeah, I was disappointed. But, you know, I think the biggest thing is — is who I hurt the most. Like, if I lost money, OK. It’s not an issue with me.”
That’s because he already has tons of cash! But it’s good to hear him speak out and sound like he knows he did something wrong as a role model and Olympic athlete. Tune in tomorrow and Sunday for the entire interview on Today and Dateline.