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USA Today reports that Wizards “star”/Twitter writer Gilbert Arenas has released a statement along with his attorney Ken Wainstein. Arenas couldn’t have picked a better lawyer to handle his growing p.r. disaster over his alleged gun show inside the Wizards’ locker room shortly before Christmas. Wainstein used to be the U.S. Attorney for D.C. If there’s anybody who can handle a high-profile case and navigate the various investigations that have popped up in the last few days, it’s Wainstein.
For example, the statements offered by Wainstein and Arenas just released moments ago. They are a significant step up from Arenas’ twitter postings in which he seemed to take the whole affair as one big joke. The statements suggest Arenas will not be twittering about the incident any time soon.
Both statements after the jump.
“This afternoon, Gilbert Arenas voluntarily met with federal prosecutors at the United States Attorney‘s Office for the District of Columbia and detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department to explain the circumstances surrounding the presence of his unloaded firearms at the Verizon Center last month.
From the outset of this incident, Mr. Arenas has been fully cooperative with the investigation. He acknowledged his possession of the guns when questioned by Washington Wizards team officials; he immediately offered and relinquished the guns to Wizards security personnel; and he had me proactively reach out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and make an immediate self-disclosure about the guns.
Consistent with that cooperative approach, Mr. Arenas felt it important that we meet with law enforcement at the first possible opportunity so that he could tell the full story. Over the course of a two-hour interview this afternoon, Mr. Arenas answered every question asked of him.
Mr. Arenas has been constrained in his public comment about these circumstances out of concern that he not do anything to interfere with the ongoing law enforcement investigation. Please understand that his public comments will continue to be limited as long as the investigation continues. Nevertheless, now that he has completed his interview, Mr. Arenas wishes to make the following statement about last month’s events and today’s interview.”
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with law enforcement officials today. As the person who caused this trouble in the first place, I thought it was my duty to be the first witness to come forward and meet with the prosecutors and detectives. I told my attorney I wanted to get in for an interview as soon as we could arrange it, and that was today.
I told the detectives and prosecutors the whole story about my storing the unloaded guns at the Verizon Center and what I was intending to do when I took them out of my locker on December 21st.
As I have said before, I had kept the four unloaded handguns in my house in Virginia, but then moved them over to my locker at the Verizon Center to keep them away from my young kids. I brought them without any ammunition into the District of Columbia, mistakenly believing that the recent change in the DC gun laws allowed a person to store unloaded guns in the District.
On Monday, December 21st, I took the unloaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate. Contrary to some press accounts, I never threatened or assaulted anyone with the guns and never pointed them at anyone.
Joke or not, I now recognize that what I did was a mistake and was wrong. I should not have brought the guns to DC in the first place, and I now realize that there’s no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns — even if unloaded.
I am very sorry for the effect that my serious lapse in judgment has had on my team, my teammates, the National Basketball Association and its fans. I want to apologize to everybody for letting them down with my conduct, and I promise to do better in the future.
I also want to thank the detectives and prosecutors on the case for the professionalism and courtesy they showed me during the interview today. I stand ready to continue to give my full cooperation to them and to the League as they investigate this incident.”
Do you think Arenas gets it now?