Dennis Rodman got emotional when U.S. student Otto Warmbier, who was held captive by North Korea and died soon after his return, was brought up during a Politicon event Saturday in Los Angeles.
Asked about his potential role in getting American hostages released from North Korea, Rodman said he got the blame when one of those exchanges took a turn for the worst.
“They blamed me because he died. And that's tough," Rodman said, before saying "I didn't want to do this" and taking a few moments to compose himself.
Warmbier was a 22-year-old American student from the University of Virginia visiting North Korea in 2016. He was detained and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after security footage emerged of him attempting to steal a banner hanging in his hotel. He was returned to his family in the U.S. in June 2017 in a comatose state and died a week later.
At the time of Warmbier's release, Rodman suggested he played a role in securing the breakthrough. He was in North Korea at the same time, and has become known as a friend to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The State Department, however, denied this was the case.
Rodman previously got emotional during a June interview on CNN, when he said got death threats in the U.S. due to his visits with Kim. The former NBA star also said it was a "great day" when President Trump had a historic meeting with Kim in Singapore to discuss denuclearization.