AP source: Armstrong-Oprah interview 'emotional'
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2009 file photo, Lance Armstrong speaks during the opening session of the Livestrong Global Cancer Summit in Dublin, Ireland. Local and international news crews are staking out positions in front of Armstrong's lush, Spanish-style villa ahead of the cyclist's interview with Oprah Winfrey later Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey was "emotional at times," according to a person familiar with the situation, and it followed an apology to the staff at the Livestrong Foundation that left some of them in tears.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity and would neither confirm nor deny that the disgraced cyclist confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during the taping, which is scheduled to be broadcast Thursday night and is supposed to remain confidential until then.
A group of about 10 close friends and advisers to Armstrong left a downtown Austin hotel about three hours after they arrived Monday afternoon for the interview. Among them were Armstrong attorneys Tim Herman and Sean Breen, along with Bill Stapleton, Armstrong's longtime agent, manager and business partner. All declined comment entering and exiting the session.
Soon afterward, Winfrey tweeted: "Just wrapped with (at)lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!" She was scheduled to appear on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday to discuss the interview.
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2011 file photo, Lance Armstrong pauses during an interview in Austin, Texas. Local and international news crews are staking out positions in front of Armstrong's lush, Spanish-style villa ahead of the cyclist's interview with Oprah Winfrey later Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Thao Nguyen, File)
Armstrong stopped at the Livestrong Foundation, which he founded, on his way to the interview and said, "I'm sorry" to staff members, some of whom broke down in tears. A person with knowledge of that session said Armstrong choked up and several employees cried during the session.
The person also said Armstrong apologized for letting the staff down and putting Livestrong at risk but he did not make a direct confession to using banned drugs. He said he would try to restore the foundation's reputation, and urged the group to continue fighting for the charity's mission of helping cancer patients and their families.
Armstrong spoke to a room full of about 100 staff members for about 20 minutes, expressing regret for everything the controversy has put them through, the person said. He told them how much the foundation means to him and that he considers the people who work there to be like members of his family. None of the people in the room challenged Armstrong over his long denials of doping.
Winfrey and her crew had earlier said they would film Monday's session at Armstrong's home. As a result, local and international news crews were encamped near the cyclist's Spanish-style villa before dawn.