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WNBA star Brittney Griner, who endured a challenging 10-month stint in a Russian prison before her release through a prisoner swap, has spoken out about her experience for the first time.

Griner, who is expecting her first child with wife Cherelle Griner this summer, has opened up about her experiences in her newly released book, “Coming Home,” where she discusses the gruelling conditions she faced while incarcerated.

Arrested in February 2022 after hashish oil was discovered in her luggage, Griner was subsequently sentenced to nine years on drug-related charges. During a recent interview with The New York Times on May 2, she detailed the harsh interrogation tactics she encountered, including being probed about her “sick thoughts” and alleged “drug problem.”

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Griner also recounted the physical and mental challenges of prison life, noting the distress of sleeping in a bed too small for her 6ft 9in frame and the constant fear of being targeted due to her sexuality. In Russia, homosexuality is often stigmatised as a mental disorder, adding an extra layer of anxiety to her confinement.

Reflecting on the drastic transition from freedom to imprisonment, Griner described the intense isolation and uncertainty of her situation. She lamented the lack of basic personal hygiene supplies, stating that she had never felt so unclean and that the degradation she suffered even pushed her towards suicidal thoughts.

Baylor University, Texas, recently honoured Griner, acknowledging her strength and resilience during such a trying period in her life.

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