August 20, 2016
Ryan Lochte Hires Justin Bieber's Former Crisis Manager to Help Fix Reputation After #Lochtegate Scandal

Ryan Lochte and Justin Bieber now have more things in common than you might think. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Lochte and his team have hired Justin Bieber's former crisis manager to help repair his reputation after Lochte's Rio robbery scandal that's now being called as "Lochtegate."

Matthew Hiltzik, a licensed attorney, is a New York-based communications consultant who worked with Justin Bieber to turn his career and reputation around. He has also worked with other celebrities too like Katie Couric, Harvey Weinstein, and Alec Baldwin. Hiltzik doesn't just represent big names in Hollywood either. He has worked with athletes and sports franchises, which is good news for Ryan Lochte. In the past, Hiltzik has represented football player Manti Te'o who was caught lying about his dead girlfriend for public sympathy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he has also represented baseball player Ryan Braun when he was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.

At this point, Ryan Lochte needs all high-powered crisis management help he can get. The U.S. Olympic swimming star recently issued what some are calling a halfhearted apology for lying about being robbed in Rio after a party, Yahoo Sports reports.

"I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics," he said in his "apology" letter posted on Twitter and Instagram. "I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely."

The Ryan Lochte Rio robbery scandal all started when Lochte and his fellow U.S. Olympic swimmers, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger, claimed that they had been robbed at gunpoint on the outskirts of Rio by men posing as police. But soon, security camera footage emerged from that night and showed Ryan Lochte and the other swimmers vandalizing a gas station and urinating on the premises. As Yahoo Sports reports, they did get guns pulled on them but that was by two Brazilian security guards who wanted them to pay for the damage they had caused.

Authorities could not detain Lochte since he was already in the United States. However, Bentz and Conger were forced to get off their plane before they left Brazil. They were questioned by police before they could go back home. According to Yahoo Sports, Jimmy Feigen's lawyer has stated that the swimmer will donate over $10,000 to a Brazilian charity as an apology for his behavior that night. There's no word yet on whether Ryan Lochte, the person who fabricated the Rio robbery story in the first place, will be making a similar donation.

The Ryan Lochte Net Worth Question.

If you're wondering whether Ryan Lochte's net worth could be affected by "Lochtegate" the answer is yes. According to Hollywood Take, Ryan Lochte's net worth is $6 million. Most of that is from endorsements. Lochte endorses a long list of top brands including Speedo, Ralph Lauren, and Gillette, International Business Times reports. Ryan's image has previously been that of a goofy but lovable star athlete. His actions at the Rio Olympics 2016 could taint that image and his value to brands.

"This essentially would take out probably, all of his endorsements," said Darren Rovell, a sports business journalist for ESPN in an interview before Lochte made his apology. "It would be hard to imagine that if this story does come to fruition and this was a lie, for any of those companies to stand behind him... I can't imagine in the next two years that he would get another endorsement deal plus he would lose all these.

This is where Justin Bieber's former crisis manager comes in to try and save Lochte's reputation and his career from being completely destroyed. We're pretty sure there's a Ryan Lochte apology tour in the works.

[Photos by Matt Hazlett, Jesse Grant/Getty Images]