Ryan Lochte said that he exchanged text messages with Michael Phelps after Lochte’s gas-station incident, but that Phelps did not return his phone call.
“I think he texted me back saying, ‘Yeah, sure. I’m here to help,’ or something like that,’’ Lochte told USA TODAY Sports. “But he didn’t call me. I was like, ‘Hey, can you please call me? Let me know, I need help.’ That never really happened.’’
Lochte appeared to characterize his interactions with Phelps in a more positive light in September, when he appeared on The Ellen Show and said that Phelps gave him advice he took “to heart.”
“I knew his answer was going to be really honest, just because of our relationship over the years,” Lochte said. “He said, ‘It’s not what you did, it’s what you do now that will shape who you are.’ I took that to heart. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to better myself, make sure I don’t make those mistakes and become a better person.”
Phelps, who has been arrested for DUI twice, has said that he reached out to Lochte “a couple of times.”
“It’s always hard to see a friend and a competitor go through a hard time like this,” Phelps said on TODAY in August. “I know what it feels like, and I’ve been through it before. Hopefully, he can come out of this a better person. I’ve reached out to him a couple of times. I think he understands a lot. He will be able to grow from this.”
Lochte described his relationship with Phelps in the USA TODAY Sports story, which was published this morning.
“We’re close, but not like close-close,’’ Lochte said. “I could go hang out with him if I wanted to and have like a conversation easily, or we could go get a bite to eat or something like that. But we don’t.”