Dennis Rodman checks himself into alcohol rehab facility, agent says

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 January, 2014, 11:24pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 January, 2014, 8:20am

Former basketball star Dennis Rodman has checked himself into an alcohol treatment programme, just days after returning to the US from North Korea, where he ignited a furore over comments he made about an American held prisoner there.

Rodman voluntarily entered an alcohol rehabilitation facility several days ago, said agent Darren Prince, without disclosing its location.

Rodman returned last week after he took a team of former National Basketball Association players to North Korea for his most recent visit and sang Happy Birthday to leader Kim Jong-un inside a packed sports arena.

Watch: Rodman sings birthday tribute to N. Korea's Kim before game

During that trip, Rodman apologised for an angry meltdown in a CNN interview in which he suggested Kenneth Bae, an American missionary imprisoned by Pyongyang, had himself to blame for the arrest.

"It had been a very stressful day," Rodman said at the time. "My dreams of basketball diplomacy were 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."

Prince said that what was potentially a historic event turned into a "nightmare for everyone concerned".

He added: "Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination superhuman political figure and fixer got the better of him.

"He is embarrassed ... and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused."

Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim since he inherited power upon the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011. He travelled to the secretive state for the first time last February with the Harlem Globetrotters.

"People forget Dennis is just an entertainer and retired NBA star," Prince said. "The fact remains that a basketball game was played in North Korea live in front of 14,000 people, and hundreds of millions around the world viewed clips of the game."

Reuters, Associated Press



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