Dennis Rodman has reportedly checked into an alcohol-rehabilitation center on the return of his most recent trip to North Korea, where he and his ragtag team of ex-NBA stars performed in an exhibition match for Kim Jong-un’s birthday.
“Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination ‘super human’ political figure and ‘fixer’ got the better of him,” Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince, said in a written statement on Sunday. “He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused.”
Prince said that Rodman is now at a facility in New Jersey with a “28- or 30-day program”. A source close to the former NBA player told CNN that he had checked in on Wednesday.
“His drinking escalated to a level that none of us had seen before,” Prince said.
Before his most recent DPRK trip, Rodman came under fire for a babbling response he made while being interviewed on CNN when questioned about Kenneth Bae, the US citizen currently imprisoned in North Korea on charges of planning to overthrow the government.
He soon after apologized in a statement, saying that he was under a great amount of pressure and that it had led to him drinking before the interview.
“I want to apologize,” Rodman said. “I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth.”
He made his return to North Korea to take part in an exhibition match and even sing “Happy Birthday” to li’l Kim.
Rodman was immediately met by crowds of press in Beijing when he stepped out at the airport, and when questioned about Bae, Rodman apologized and appeared to have broken down in tears.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything,” Rodman said when questioned about Bae yesterday. “I’m not the president. I’m not an ambassador…I’m Dennis Rodman, an individual that’s showing the world that we can actually get along and be happy for one day.”