Dennis Rodman Apologizes for North Korea Comments

Claims he "had been drinking" just before outburst.

Posted: 01/10/2014 09:30 AM EST

Dennis Rodman is apologizing for his flagrant foul in an interview with CNN about his trip to North Korea. The former NBA star lashed out at Chris Cuomo on Tuesday when the anchor questioned Rodman's most recent trip to the rogue state — where Korean-American tour operator Kenneth Bae is currently being held without charges. 

"Do you understand what he did in this country?" Rodman said angrily of Bae. "No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this." Rodman didn't offer any further explanation of what he felt was Bae's crime. Bae's family, including his sister Terri Chung, admonished Rodman for his insensitive remarks.

Now the erratic athlete is apologizing for his comments. "I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae's family," Rodman said Thursday in a statement. "I want to apologize to my teammates and my management team. I also want to apologize to Chris Cuomo."

I embarrassed a lot of people," said Rodman, who traveled to North Korea with other former NBA players for a basketball game against a North Korean team. "I'm very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I'm truly sorry."

He said the day of the interview had been "very stressful."

"Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates," he said, adding that his dream of "basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart."

"I had been drinking," he said. "It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened, I was upset. I was overwhelmed."

In a written statement Thursday afternoon, Chung said the Bae family would accept his apology.

"As Rodman has stated, being drunk and stressed is not an excuse for what he said, but we acknowledge he is human and we all do make mistakes," the statement read.

Rodman has not stated he will cease his friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who is regarded as a ruthless tyrant worldwide for the harsh punishments he has doled out to his citizens as well as foreign visitors like Bae.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)


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