Ryan Lochte’s ‘DWTS’ Debut Interrupted By Protestors
Ryan Lochte and his professional partner on Dancing With The Stars, Cheryl Burke, were left in shock when protestors stormed the stage last night during the season premiere.
Ryan Lochte’s ‘DWTS’ Debut
Lochte joined the cast of Dancing With The Stars following Rio 2016, where he picked up another gold medal – and an image problem after he lied about being robbed at gunpoint. In an effort to rehabilitate his reputation, the Olympic swimmer joined the celebrity dancing competition. Some in the audience, however, did not think he deserved the second chance.
While Lochte and Burke were listening to judge Carrie Ann Inaba‘s comments about their dance, two men – Sam Sododeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40 – ran onto the stage in white t-shirts emblazoned with “Lochte” covered with a circle with a slash through it. As they approached Lochte, women in the audience who were also outfitted in the shirts, chanted, “Liar!”
Security managed to tackle the two men and escorted the women out of the venue as well.
“Two individuals stormed the dance floor tonight and were immediately subdued and escorted out of the building,” a spokesperson for the company that produces Dancing with the Stars, BBC Worldwide Productions, told CNN. “The matter is now being handle by the authorities.”
Sodoheh and Soroudi were arrested on trespassing charges, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“They were arrested on trespassing, this was a private person’s arrest as the security at the venue made the arrest,” an LAPD spokesperson told CNN. “We just accepted [them] and booked them.”
While the drama was unfolding on the DWTS stage, host Tom Bergeron cut to a commercial break.
“It all happened very quickly and then my main concern was how Ryan and Cheryl were and to try to get some control of the show so we could move forward once I knew that that had been taken care of,” Bergeron told ABC News. “The mood in the room was definitely in Ryan’s corner after these guys were escorted out.”
After the ordeal, Lochte admitted that he was “a little hurt” by it. “We thought it was a joke, something part of the show,” Lochte revealed post-show. “But when we realized it wasn’t, that hurt, that broke my heart, that people are still on that subject and no one’s moving forward.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays on ABC.