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Ryan Lochte’s ‘DWTS’ protesters speak out after release from jail

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It made for a wild scene on Monday night when two men stormed the stage shortly after Ryan Lochte’s first performance alongside partner Cheryl Burke on this season’s edition of “Dancing With The Stars.”

The men, were wearing “No Lochte” shirts, shouted “You’re a liar!” as they interrupted the live broadcast, and were quickly subdued by security and later arrested.

Now, relatives Sam Sotoodeh, 59, and Barzeen Soroudi, 25, are giving their side of the story, saying they had no intent to harm Lochte and their actions were simply in protest.

TMZ caught up with the two men shortly after their release from jail on Tuesday afternoon. They indicate the intent of their shocking protest was in criticism of the Walt Disney Company for choosing to include Lochte in this season’s cast after he embarrassed Americans with his antics in Rio during the Olympics.

Some of the comments from Souroudi, as transcribed by Uproxx:

“We didn’t, obviously, agree with Walt Disney Company choosing Lochte to represent Americans. Yes, he did receive gold medals but what he did in Rio did not represent Americans well.”

“We were actually at the Olympics, so what happened was… once Lochte did what he did, embarrassed Americans, lied to Brazil… the climate changed. So all the sudden, Americans became targets in Rio. The Brazilians obviously felt insulted and it became very difficult for many Americans there.”

Sotoodeh added he’s very upset with how aggressively security personnel took him down, although it’s hardly surprising extreme measures were taken given no one had any idea of their motives or intent after storming the stage, citing injuries he allegedly suffered during the incident.

Burke has since indicated that Lochte suffered an ankle injury during the incident while “DWTS” host Tom Bergeron characterized the incident as “unnerving.”

Sotoodeh and Soroudi were both booked on misdemeanor charges of trespassing, per the LAPD.

 

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