Brittney Griner Told Wife She Could Get a Divorce After Receiving Nine-Year Sentence: ‘How Can I Ask Her to Wait?’

In her new memoir, 'Coming Home,' Griner detailed her nine-year sentence in a Russian labor camp and fears that her wife would want to divorce.

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While the support of Brittney Griner's wife, lawyer Cherelle, kept the Phoenix Mercury star lifted during her time in a Russian labor camp, she almost thought that the two would divorce.

In her new memoir, Coming Home, Griner recounted fears about her wife wanting to leave the relationship, as Griner was sentenced to nine years before she was released in a prison exchange in December 2022. In an excerpt of the book, exclusively shared by People, Griner imagined that while detained, she'd lose opportunities and that her wife, whom she affectionately refers to as "Relle," would have wanted to end the marriage.

"My basketball career would be over. I’d be in my early forties and out of shape, would have to find a new way to provide for my wife. And Relle. She assured me she’d wait, but ten years was ridiculous," Griner wrote.

Today’s the day!! My memoir, COMING HOME, is finally here! I’m honored to share my story with the world. A huge thank you to everyone who pre-ordered books! It’s now available everywhere books are sold—online, in bookstores, and on audiobook! Grab your copy now!

— Brittney Griner (@brittneygriner) May 8, 2024
Twitter: @brittneygriner

You: is it on AUDIOBOOK??


Me: COMING HOME is now available as an audiobook, read by me and narrator Andia Winslow!🎧

Check out this behind-the-scenes footage from when I recorded my portion of the audiobook 🎙️ with @PRHAudio and learn more about COMING HOME.

— Brittney Griner (@brittneygriner) May 8, 2024
Twitter: @brittneygriner

"I went through so many emotions being locked up, and just thinking about nine years,” she continued. “We planned on having kids, and doing all these amazing things together, and now I'm thinking, ‘Is that going to happen? How can I ask her to wait?’"

After receiving the guilty verdict, Griner even gave Cherelle permission to seek a divorce, which her wife rebuffed. "I gave her an out," Griner explained. "But she was basically like, ‘What? Stop it. Don’t you ever say that.’"

"It was just emotion,” she continued. “I got scared for a minute. When you’re in that predicament, the first thing that comes to mind is not good. You see women get those [goodbye] letters [in prison] and break down in tears."

Cherelle remained in Griner's corner, advocating for her release in 2022 with the help of President Joe Biden, who oversaw the prison swap.

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