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Brittney Griner's wife describes letters from Russian prison, says the WNBA star is acting tough but is really 'struggling' and 'terrified'

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Brittney Griner in Russia
Brittney Griner, center, being led to a hearing in a Russian court.KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images
  • WNBA star Brittney Griner remains jailed in Russia on charges of drug smuggling.

  • Cherelle Griner described letters she has received from her wife in an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton.

  • Cherelle says Griner is putting up a tough front but believes she is "struggling" and "terrified."

Brittney Griner remains jailed in Russia, and her wife said Wednesday that while the WNBA star is putting up a tough front, she doesn't believe Griner is doing well.

The Phoenix Mercury center has been in jail for more than 130 days on drug-smuggling charges after Russian authorities said they found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

On Wednesday, Griner's wife, Cherelle, spoke with Rev. Al Sharpton on his SiriusXM radio show, "Keepin' It Real." Cherelle said she hasn't talked Griner since February 17, when Griner left the US to go to Russia, but she has received letters.

Cherelle described those letters to Sharpton and said she believes that Griner is trying to mask how scared she really is.

"Because I am her person, she is always going to write persuasively to make sure I don't break, because she knows I have all these things going on. She's always trying to be my strong person," Cherelle said. "She's telling me she's okay. She's like, 'I'm okay, babe. I'm hardened. I'm not me right now. When I come home, it's going to take me a minute to get back to myself, but I'm holding on. I won't break until I come home. I won't let them break me. I know they are trying to, but I'm going to do my best to just hold on until I can get home.'"

Cherelle Griner
Cherelle Griner, Brittney Griner's wife, recently spoke to Al Sharpton on his radio show.AP

Brittney and Cherelle were supposed to speak on the phone two weeks ago, but that call fell through because of a "logistical error" at the US Embassy in Moscow.

Cherelle also talked about the importance of keeping Brittney in the news and maintaining pressure on officials who can help bring her home.

"Every second that goes by, BG is struggling," Cherelle said. "She's struggling. She's there, terrified. She's there, alone. Everything about this is just her biggest nightmare, on top of the fact that BG is in a situation where this isn't even a trial. Nothing about this is justice."

Earlier this week, Griner's trial date was set for July 1. It's questionable whether she'll get a fair hearing: Russia has a 99% conviction rate, and some experts believe it will be a "show trial" with a predetermined outcome.

Read the original article on Insider