Dennis Rodman apologizes to Chris Cuomo, sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Kim Jong Un
Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for his outburst against CNN’s “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo about imprisoned missionary Kenneth Bae.
Rodman gave Cuomo an interview from Pyongyang, North Korea, when he bellowed at the anchor after he asked if Rodman would use his influence to help Kenneth Bae, who has been held in North Korea for over one year. Rodman, cigar in one hand, shouted, “The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did? In this country?” But on Thursday, Rodman sent the AP a statement saying he was sorry to both Cuomo and the family of Kenneth Bae.
“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.
“I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae’s family. 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. I’m very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.”
Rodman sang “Happy Birthday” to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on Wednesday at a North Korean stadium. He calls Kim his “best friend.” Rodman has been criticized for pandering to the leader and not using his friendship to help free Bae.
Bae’s sister said her family was appalled by Rodman’s comments. “Here’s somebody who is in a position to do some good for Kenneth and refuses to do so,” Chung told KOMO Radio in Seattle on Wednesday. “And then after the fact, instead, he decides to hurl these unqualified accusations against Kenneth [Bae].”
Rodman is helping to train the North Korean basketball team. He was joined by former NBA players Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker among others. Rodman bowed to Kim after singing “Happy Birthday” and said to the crowd of 14,000 people, “He is a great leader, he provides for his people here in this country and thank God the people here love the marshal.”