Jimmy Feigen Last of the 4 Gas Station Swimmers to Release Statement

Jimmy Feigen, the last of the now-infamous 4 American swimmers who were involved in the gas station incident in Rio de Janeiro over a week ago, has released a statement through his attorney.

Feigen took the brunt of the legal ramifications of the incident; his cohort and training partner Ryan Lochte had already left the country by the time Brazilian officials charged the two with falsifying a police report, and the other two swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were treated only as witnesses rather than suspects.

Feigen begins with an apology for “the serious distractions” from the Olympics and saying that he has “nothing but respect” for the hosts in Rio for “undertaking the massive responsibility of hosting the Olympics.” He also said he felt their performance was “exemplary.”

He then gives an account of the situation that largely reflects that given by Bentz and Conger in their official statements: that they pulled over to use a restroom, which was locked, urinated on the wall of the gas station, Lochte pulled a sign off the wall, a security guard pointed a gun at them, they paid $50 ostensibly for the damages caused, and were allowed to return to the Athletes’ Village.

Feigen, however, as one of the official statement-makers to Brazilian police, along with Lochte, did acknowledge that he omitted some of these key details from his statement to police. Specifically, he says he didn’t mention that the swimmers urinated behind the building or that Lochte pulled the poster off the wall.

The new information revealed in Feigen’s statement largely has to do with the experience relating to him allegedly not being allowed to leave the country and having to make a donation to charity. He says that his passport wasn’t taken from him per se, but that he voluntarily surrendered it after Brazilian authorities requested it be held. That part of the statement is below:

On the day I was scheduled to leave Rio, I was told that the police were investigating the matter and my passport was to be held until further information was provided. I was asked to stay in the country so I voluntarily provided my passport to the police and waited while the matter was investigated. I contacted lawyers in the United States and in Rio de Janeiro and awaited instruction.

I was informed by my Brazilian attorney that the police were requesting I make a follow-up statement. I provided the statement at the police station, which included the previous omissions. From there I was taken to the Brazilian court. I waited outside while my attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge met to decide what to do.

Feigen then discusses that he was given the option to remain in Brazil while the investigation continued or to pay a fine of $100,000 Brazilian Reais (approx. $31,250 USD) and serve 15 days of community service, but that after discussing with his attorneys, they rejected the latter offer as “unreasonable” and unsafe.

Instead, they negotiated down to a R$35,000 (approxi $10,800 USD) fine to be paid within 3 days.

That fine was to come in the donation to a charity, with the recipient having been revealed by Brazilian sources as the Instituto Reação (Reaction Institute). The organization, run by a former Olympic medalist, involves training Brazilians in judo both with the goal of producing world-class judo talent and causing social change for many poor citizens of the country. The academy has previously received a $30,000USD donation from American fighter Ronda Rousey, among others.

Unlike with Ryan Lochte, who has lost at least 4 sponsors in the last week, no announcements have been made publicly from any sponsors about Feigen. He has previously been sponsored by both Mutual of Omaha and the New York Athletic Club, the latter of whom omitted Feigen from a recent email sent out to its email list congratulating NYAC’s gold medalists.

Feigen’s full statement, released through his attorney at the Hull Firm, is below.

First and foremost I would like to apologize for the serious distractions from the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, and Team USA. It was never my intent to draw attention away from the tradition of athletic competition and the symbolic cooperation of countries participating in the Olympic games. I want to thank the IOC and the people of Rio de Janeiro for their hospitality in hosting these games. I have nothing but respect for the city in undertaking the massive responsibility of hosting the Olympics and I feel their performance was exemplary.

I also apologize for the delay in this statement as I just arrived back home late Saturday evening. That being said, I would like to take the time to explain my thoughts on the events that began on August 14th.

This unfortunate incident began after leaving a celebration at the French House. We left the party at around 5:00 am in a taxi to travel back to the Athlete Village. On our way back we asked the cab driver to pull over so we could relieve ourselves. We pulled over to a gas station to use the bathroom but the door was locked. We did not force entry into the bathroom, nor did we ever enter the bathroom. We did, however, make the regrettable decision to urinate in the grass behind the building.

On our way back to the cab, Ryan Lochte pulled a poster in a metal frame off a wall. I got back into the cab and waited for the others. One of my teammates told me that a man with a gun was standing outside the cab. The man with the gun spoke with the cab driver, who got out of the cab. We then got out of the cab and I paid the driver the fare. As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammate and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit. This was the first time I have ever had a gun pointed at me and I was terrified.

I put my hands up and sat down on the curb. It became apparent that the man with the gun was telling us to pay, and I was unsure if they were affiliated with the gas station. Gunnar Bentz and I gave the man some money. We were then allowed to leave and we took another cab to the Village, arriving around 7:00 am. Later that day, a Rio police detective came to the USA House to take a statement. Since I was the only person available, I was told by a USOC official to provide a statement.

In this statement, I omitted the facts that we urinated behind the building and that Ryan Lochte pulled a poster off the wall. This statement was written by the officers in Portuguese, and I was then asked to sign the statement without seeing it translated into English. I realize that I made a mistake by omitting these facts. I was trying to protect my teammates and for this I apologize.

On the day I was scheduled to leave Rio, I was told that the police were investigating the matter and my passport was to be held until further information was provided. I was asked to stay in the country so I voluntarily provided my passport to the police and waited while the matter was investigated. I contacted lawyers in the United States and in Rio de Janeiro and awaited instruction.

I was informed by my Brazilian attorney that the police were requesting I make a follow-up statement. I provided the statement at the police station, which included the previous omissions. From there I was taken to the Brazilian court. I waited outside while my attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge met to decide what to do.

I was eventually given two options. Option one was to remain in Brazil while the police continued the investigation. This process was estimated to take at least a month and I would be required to remain in Brazil. Option two was pay a fine of R$100,000.00 ($31,250.00 USD) for the return of my passport and perform fifteen days of community service. I called my American attorneys to discuss what to do. We decided that this amount was unreasonable and due to safety concerns, this offer was also rejected. The prosecutor’s response was to increase the fine to R$150,000.00 ($46,875.00 USD).

Finally, all parties agreed to a R$35,000.00 ($10,800.00 USD) fine. This fine was to be paid within three days. If it was not paid, the fine would be increased back to R$150,000.00. I was able to contact my family in the United States along with my American attorneys and we were able to satisfy the payment of the fine the next day. My passport was returned to me after payment was received, and I was able to return home.

The support of my family, friends, and attorneys was paramount in my ability to return home. I am so sorry for the drama this has caused in everyone’s lives. I am very thankful to be home in the United States with my family and that this ordeal has come to an end.

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Joel Lin
4 years ago

Before the lunch mob gets it’s boots on this morning. Detained or voluntary persons of interest: never say more than you absolutely have to to police until, or if, you have an attorney. Don’t tell them where you parked your car or who you were with or what you were doing earlier. Nothing. Don’t ever, ever, ever trust the police until, or if, you have an attorney. Every word you say will be used against your interests. Everything you don’t say is not a lie or a misrepresentation: it is exercising the right to say nothing until, or if, compelled to disclose. That is someone’s legal and personal privacy right. Even as a US citizen abroad. Feigen wasn’t only protecting… Read more »

Heh
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

Ha. ‘Lunch’ Mob. 😀

spectatorn
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

Well said. Thank you.
Jimmy’ statement provided what we had not heard of from ones being accused of false police report and filled the gaps of what Brazilian police had been saying about false report. In any case, it sound scary to have statement taken in another language and just signed without translation. It create room for misinterpretation.

H2O Bruin
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

You’re trying to rationalize and paint a less negative picture of the incident in order to justify your emotional infantile attachment to Lochte. I don’t think they totally deserve what happened to them but that is besides the point. The bigger picture is the spirit and the goodwill of the Olympics was tarnished because some these swimmers lacked judgment, common sense, and accountability. Brazil is not America so do not expect to act like an imbecile, publicize it to the world, and hop on a plane and forget about it. When you’re a guest of a country be respectful and mindful of the society you’re in. Btw, you never even been to Brazil to even make a credible, mature assessment… Read more »

Concerned
Reply to  H2O Bruin
4 years ago

You talk about being respectful to the host nation, which I agree is needed, but what about being graceful as a host nation to your guests instead of portraying them in the worst light possible by lying? Perhaps Brazil should have looked to how the Koreans handled the situation in ’88 against the 2 swimmers who stole a statue from a hotel. No ridiculous fines, no filing of charges, no seizing of passports and definitely no embellishment. No, the Koreans just demanded a public apology, which they got. If Brazil did just that, I would be behind them 100%, but not in this case.

H20 Bruin
Reply to  Concerned
4 years ago

LOL. See my comment about rationalizing, excusing bad behavior overseas! OMG, Brazil is not on trial. Sure, I think the Brazilian authorities in their zealousness painted an unflattering picture of the four swimmers as a bunch of vandals and hooligans. I do not know that is true or untrue. I do know that Mr. 32 year old concocted a ridiculous story about a bunch of bandits holding them up for money. Lochte claimed he lost $400 in the robbery. Is that true? I think not. He was not ROBBED. It was a negotiated deal by the swimmers to pony up $50 dollars in damages allegedly done by the swimmers about some poster with a frame. The swimmers did not want… Read more »

Scott Morgan
Reply to  H20 Bruin
4 years ago

Agreed, H2O. Joel, above, has been spinning conspiracy theories with zero evidence of a “shakedown” and all actual evidence to the contrary, including the honest swimmers’ own words (after they were safely home btw). Lots of people here are fixate on the damage and urination. That is hardly the issue. The issue is what happened after: Lochte lying to the press and to the world, embellishing details, leaving others out. Joel prefers to blame Rio for what happened, not Lochte who seemingly decided to bolster his image by inventing a crime where the only culprits were he and his drunken teammates. I am tired of this “Blame it on Rio” defense. Lochte and co. did the illegal actions, however minor.… Read more »

swimfan
Reply to  H2O Bruin
4 years ago

“The goodwill of the Olympics was tarnished”…? By these guys? Seriously?
How many athletes were robbed at gun point? Even a Paralympic athlete, prior to the games was robbed at gun point. But public urination, vandalism, and lying to police about it is what tarnished these Olympics?

/sigh

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  swimfan
4 years ago

Many were robbed at gunpoint.
By lying, Lochte trivialized all those real crimes.

Cheatinvlad
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
4 years ago

If they were made less important it wasn’t 100% on the shoulders of Lochte and the boys. The media and Brazilian authorities play a part in this in the over sensationalizing of the events and omitting key facts. People were so eager to dump this on the supposed white privilege angle in a country where the whites are in the minority that the media was more than happy to play up that story line.

H20 Bruin
Reply to  swimfan
4 years ago

How many athletes were robbed at gunpoint during the Games? I don’t know, you tell me since you brought it up! There were over 11,000 athletes at the Olympics. How many instances of armed robbery happened? All 11,000 athletes not including their friends and family members experienced Rio’s notorious crime wave? Come on, get real! The Games went off relatively well, no terrorist attack (i.e. Munich), Zika scare, no major doping scandal, riots, so give them credit for hosting the games. Brazil is a developing country not a developed country. Don’t expect developed world standards and expectations when a country is in transition from a developing country into a developed country over night. Here is an interesting link describing the… Read more »

DLswim
Reply to  H20 Bruin
4 years ago

One is one too many. You seem imply that the four were punished because they made Brazil look bad. I agree with that.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  DLswim
4 years ago

Ok, one robbery at gunpoint is one too many. I give you that.

There was one terrorist bomb attack in 1996 Atlanta. I’m sure we all can remember that.
What would we think if there was a famous high profile foreign athlete who’d claimed he averted a bomb attacks by wrestling down the terrorists and defused the bomb?

Olympics
Reply to  H20 Bruin
4 years ago

Why are you so offended by and jealous of Ryan Lochte? You really need to direct your anger elsewhere. Like working out at the gym or something? I read about at least 7 robberies of Olympians and an Olympic photographer!!!! That is outrageous! I live in Whistler, BC where we hosted the 2010 Olymics. We did not have a single robbery!!! Why are you protecting Rio and their corrupt and dangerous society so much??? You need to seek help for misdirected anger.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Olympics
4 years ago

All Lochte’s defense team seem to be incapable of basic reading comprehension.
At no point in time have I been offended by and jealous of Lochte.
At no point in time have I tried to protect Rio and it’s “corrupt” society. They’ll laughter at my face had I done it.

As for whistler British Columbia and it’s zero robbery case, good for you. I hope you never travel because you’ll be disappointed that there are robberies happening everywhere outside of Whistler British Columbia.

Sven
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

It is possible to tell a lie with true statements. Yes, everything you say may be used against you, and so can the things you don’t say when you tell them you’ve made a complete statement. In this case, by omitting the leadup to them being held at gunpoint, Lochte and Feigen completely changed the overall nature of the story. What really happened was four drunk dudes peed on a wall and damaged a sign, then had a gun pulled on them by overzealous management/security guards until they paid for damages and/or the right to leave before police arrived. The story Lochte and Feigen told was that they were robbed for no reason. I have not heard about the security… Read more »

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Sven
4 years ago

They are not off duty cops. They’re off duty prison guard cops moonlighting as private security guards.

spectatorn
Reply to  Sven
4 years ago

yes this has gone on for a long time to the point that as soon as “Lochte lied” become the outcome, nothing else matter. Looking at this one case, Lochte is wrong to lie and omitted what they had done. Looking at this one case, it is also not right for the police to made up a version that not aligned with 3 swimmers said and accepted by the police not as false statement – the bathroom vandal that none of the swimmers admitted to, and not sure I heard the Police included their peeing behind the gas station as part of the crime. The perception of Brazil/Rio being an unsafe place started with reports of robbery before Rio games… Read more »

spectatorn
Reply to  Sven
4 years ago

straightly responding to this line “the unending claims that the group was subject to a robbery when they kept their watches, iPhones, expensive shoes, etc. are ridiculous” it may be not as ridiculous as you think – cash is harder to trace than physical items. Many no longer took phones because they are traceable and/or can be remotely disabled (so no value). Some would took phone just so the victim cannot call for help (esp in remote area) but would dump the phone soon after to not be traced. If a bank robber only took smaller /used bills instead of stacks of brand new 100 dollar bills, does this mean the robbery did not happened? or the bank’s claim to… Read more »

Sven
Reply to  spectatorn
4 years ago

Spectatorn- Re: the bank robbery question: That’s not at all what I’m trying to say, although I understand where you’re coming from with that. What I was trying to get at was that if there was greed involved, why would 50 bucks be taken if it was to be split between at least three people (two security guards, manager)? I’m assuming that’s to be split because I doubt the manager pays those guards enough for them to commit robbery without asking for a cut. Seems like more risk than $17 is worth, in my opinion (and yes, I realize that American money may go a bit further over there). In my mind, the amount of money that changed hands compared… Read more »

Coach mary
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

Great summary.

Babalonmoon
4 years ago

so there was a man with a drawn gun and he did shake them down for money they did NOT trash a bathroom just pull down a sign and peed in the grass wow all while drunk at 5am coming from a party. annnd the corrupt judge tried to fleece one of them for big money but oh thats ok…. this is such a non story and the media has distorted it in such a way to cause long lasting consequences for the swimmers. it’s disgusting how the story has been skewed but nothing about a “woman” runner who is physically and physiologically more a man than a woman, is allowed to run and win in a woman’s race causing… Read more »

taa
Reply to  Babalonmoon
4 years ago

I read somewhere that there was more than one (wo)man running in that race. Could happen in swimming one day

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  taa
4 years ago

I think it will happen sooner than we anticipate.
The women’s records as we know it will be obliterated.

Leslie
Reply to  taa
4 years ago

Semenya, Niyonsaba, Wambui: gold-bronze

Leslie
Reply to  Leslie
4 years ago

gold-silver-bronze

Yada
Reply to  Leslie
4 years ago

I was doing some unrelated research and noticed several of the women’s track and field records, particularly 800 and under, were set during the 80s with all the doping and haven’t even been approached yet. Everyone talks about Semenya having such high testosterone levels, but she was still a full two seconds off the 800m WR set in ’83. Two seconds, over an 800m run. Kind of astounding I thought

Taa
Reply to  Yada
4 years ago

I think FloJo still has the 200record RIP

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Taa
4 years ago

And 100 as well

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Yada
4 years ago

This Olympics is the first major competition Semenya ran without the hormone suppression after CAS decided it was unlawful.
Did you watch how she ran all year? It always looked so easy and It look she deliberately slowed down. I’m convinced she can break kratichvilova WR if she wants to.

I don’t think we will have to wait for 20 years until some country figure out how to encourage some women with similar trait to train in swimming.
And then we’ll see even the 200 fly, 400 IM and all Ledecky’s WRs destroyed.

Yada
Reply to  Yada
4 years ago

Haha why all the downvotes? Sorry if I offended somebody with that tidbit…

Liam
4 years ago

Dopers win again

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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