On Monday, Oct. 17, Cherelle shared a short video, which contained a smattering of photos and videos, as well as a new statement from her. “I’ve felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her,” Cherelle said. “I want to thank President Biden for the Administration’s efforts to secure her release. As my family and I continue on this journey, I’d like to thank our friends, leaders, and supporters, who continue to stand with us and advocate for Brittney’s swift and safe return. Let’s share a unified commitment to bringing all Americans home to their families and loved ones.”
In the caption, Cherelle added, “Today marks eight months without my person! I could never forget you, and will not rest until you’re home. You should be home. It’s time to bring BG home!!” Additionally, Cherelle’s new statement arrived the day before Griner’s 32nd birthday, which is today, Oct. 18.
Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined 1 million rubles (about $16,300) this past August for bringing cannabis oil vape cartridges into Russia. Griner has appealed the sentence, and a hearing is currently scheduled for Oct. 25. Griner’s lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, previously called the sentence “absolutely unreasonable.”
Earlier this month, Cherelle relayed details from a recent phone conversation with her wife during an interview on CBS Mornings. Cherelle said Griner is at her “absolute weakest moment in life right now,” adding, “She’s very afraid about being left and forgotten in Russia, or just completely used to the point of her detriment.”
Back in July, the State Department offered Russia a deal to secure the release of Griner and another imprisoned American, U.S. Marine Corps vet Paul Whelan, in exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Negations, however, have not moved forward much. In September, Cherelle met with President Biden at the White House, and while she said the president made it clear that he’s “doing what he can,” he acknowledged “there’s another party in this situation,” referring to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.