Updated Oct 6, 2022 - Sports

Brittney Griner has suffered to "the max" in Russia, wife says

Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner leaves the courtroom after the court's verdict in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4,

WNBA player Brittney Griner leaves the courtroom on Aug 4. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

Cherelle Griner said in an interview on Thursday that a call she had with WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is detained in Russia, "was the most disturbing phone call I'd ever experienced."

Driving the news: "You could hear that she was not okay. If you think about just a person's suffering and when they have suffered to a max … she was at the max that day," Cherelle told "CBS Mornings" co-host Gayle King.

  • "I think I cried for about two, three days straight. It was the most disturbing phone call I'd ever experienced," she said.
  • Cherelle said her wife is "at her absolute weakest moment in life right now."

State of play: Cherelle told CBS News that she has only talked to her wife twice since her detention in February. "It was just so delightful just to hear her voice," she said about the first phone call.

  • Brittney is fearful that she will be forgotten in Russia, Cherelle told CBS News.
  • "She's saying things to me like, 'My life just don't even matter no more,'" Cherelle said.
  • "I don't know if she has anything left in her tank to continue to wake up every day and be in a place where she has no one," she said.

The big picture: The WNBA star, who was sentenced to nine years in prison over drug charges, was arrested in February, when Russian authorities said they found a vape cartridge with hashish oil in her luggage.

  • A Moscow regional court earlier this week set her appeal date for Oct. 25.

Go deeper... WNBA star Brittney Griner testifies at Russian drug trial

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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