Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison last year. She celebrated her first anniversary of freedom by signing a deal with Disney, Deadline reported. She also has an upcoming documentary with ESPN to tell her story.
The Phoenix Mercury Center's first exclusive interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts is in conjunction with her in-development scripted series with ABC Signature. These projects will be executive produced by her wife Cherelle Griner and her longtime manager Lindsay Kagawa.
“The last two years have been the most harrowing, transformative and illuminating period of my life, and I am grateful to be in a place now to share my story with the world,” Griner said.
“I’m proud to partner with ESPN and Disney to share this very personal story because of its incredible potential to inspire hope around the world and their proven ability to do just that,” she continued.
Brittney Griner in Russia
Griner was detained and arrested on smuggling charges by Russian customs agents on Feb. 17, 2022. At the time, she had been playing with the Russian Premier League during the WNBA off-season. She pleaded guilty to the charges during her trial and was sentenced to nine years in prison. However, Griner was released in a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on Dec. 8, 2022.
Brittney Griner is a two-time Olympic medalist and led the team to victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics and in 2021 in Tokyo. She's also a six-time WNBA All-Star and was the first overall draft pick in 2013 by the Phoenix Mercury. She won the 2014 Championship with the team.
The in-development limited series deal with ABC Signature will be about Griner's life.
“Throughout BG’s detainment and in the time since, ESPN, ABC and Disney were supportive and caring in regards to the human side of this saga,” Griner's wife Cherelle said.
“Love and family were at the center of the fight to get BG home, and with that in mind, there is no better, more trusted partner to tell that story with us,” she continued.
ESPN president of content Burke Magnus stated, “Brittney is an exceptional athlete whose hardship and resilience are nothing short of extraordinary. We are thrilled to be working with her to tell the nuances of her story and feel confident that this documentary will captivate audiences everywhere.”
“Her unwavering perseverance that helped shape her as an athlete has now influenced her leadership as a human rights advocate,” Disney Networks and Television Business Operations president Debra O'Connell added.