Cherelle Griner is speaking out.
Two months after Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine and a half years of prison for drug possession charges, the WNBA star's wife will talk publicly for the first time about the verdict and Griner's future in a new interview with CBS Mornings.
In a preview of Cherelle's interview, she tells CBS' Gayle King that 31-year-old Brittney's prison sentence and status as "wrongfully detained" by the U.S. State Department feels "like a movie for me."
"I'm like, in no world did I ever thought, you know, our president and a foreign nation's president would be sitting down having to discuss the freedom of my wife," Cherelle told King in her first interview since Griner's sentencing. "And so to me, as much as everybody's telling me a different definition of what BG is, it feels to me as if she's a hostage."
"It terrifies me, because when you watch movies, sometimes those situations don't end well," Cherelle added. "Sometimes they never get their person back."
Cherelle and King both emphasized in the interview that, unlike a high-stakes political drama, Brittney's situation is all too real.
"Exactly, this is my life, and so I'm sitting there like, 'Do we get her back? Do I ever get to see my wife again? Like, what happens [next]?' " she told CBS Mornings.
"The fact that everything is so unprecedented and everything is like, changeable, I think is a really good word," Cherelle added. "I feel like every day I'm hearing something new, and so it's just.. it's terrifying."
Ethan Miller/Getty Brittney Griner and wife Cherelle Griner
On Monday, the Associated Press reported that a Russian court set Griner's appeal hearing date for Oct. 25, which the White House called "another sham judicial proceeding," according to King.
A Russian judge read Griner's verdict on Aug. 4 about an hour after her lawyers and the prosecution presented their closing arguments. The Phoenix Mercury star had given an emotional speech, reiterating her stance that though she pled guilty to bringing less than 1 gram of cannabis oil into Russia, she did so "inadvertently" and asked the court for leniency.
"That's why I pled guilty to my charges. I understand everything that's been said against me, the charges that are against me and that is why I pled guilty but I had no intents to break any Russian laws," Griner said, according to CNN.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Griner's lawyers called the sentence "absolutely unreasonable" in the ruling's aftermath and said they will "certainly file an appeal."
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty
As the Russian court ruled on Griner's case, the Biden administration is still working on a striking a deal with Russian officials to bring Griner and Paul Whelan, another American imprisoned in the country, home.
On Monday, the AP reported that the Biden administration offered a deal to Russia to secure the pair's release in exchange for imprisoned arms dealer Viktor Bout. The White House told the AP that it has not "received a productive response from Russia" to the offer.
The meetings were held to "reiterate his continued commitment to working through all available avenues to bring Brittney and Paul home safely," according to a statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
"He asked after the wellbeing of Elizabeth and Cherelle and their respective families during this painful time," the statement continued. "The President appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Brittney and Paul from those who love them most, and acknowledged that every minute they are being held is a minute too long."
Following the meeting, Cherelle posted a picture with Biden, 79, on her Instagram to express her gratitude for his support.
"I want to thank President Biden for yesterday's meeting as well as the Administration for its efforts to secure my wife's release," she wrote in the caption. "It was an honor to speak with him directly about the Brittney we know and love. I've felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her. I look forward to the day my wife is back home."
She continued, "As my family and I continue on this journey, I'd like to thank the broad coalition of friends, leaders and supporters who continue to stand with us and advocate for Brittney's swift and safe return."
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"Let's share a unified commitment to bringing all Americans home to their families and loved ones. Together We Are BG," Cherelle added.