Two men who interrupted DWTS last month to object to Ryan Lochte’s appearance on the show have been ordered by a judge not to go near the swimmer, ABC News is reporting. The Los Angeles Superior Court judge also ordered Sam Sotoodeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40, to stay away from CBS Television Studios in Beverly Hills and other facilities associated with DWTS.
In September, both men wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts charged towards Ryan Lochte and his dancing partner, Cheryl Burke, during an on-screen performance. Security tackled the men to the ground before they could reach the dancers. The show’s host, Tom Bergeron, swiftly cut to a commercial as the embarrassing incident unraveled live on TV.
Both men were charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office on counts of leaving a spectator area, entering a stage, and interfering with a performance. If they are found guilty, they could face six months in jail, as well as a $1,000 fine.
The men said that they were angry with the Olympian swimmer for ridiculing America when he “overexaggerated” a story about getting robbed during the Rio Summer Olympics.
“Lochte is a liar… he hurt Americans in Brazil. Two of his teammates were detained because he ran away and lied… we wanted to publicize that it is a bad decision to have a liar be a publicized star.”
The men insist that they did not plan to hurt the disgraced athlete.
Ryan Lochte, who was clearly shaken by the stage crashers, has been trying to rebuild his tattered reputation after he lied about being held at gunpoint in Brazil. The gold medalist has been suspended for 10 months by the U.S. Olympic Committee and banned from the World Championship meet in Budapest in July of 2017. He was also not invited to the White House when other Olympian sportsmen and women were in attendance.
Sam Sotoodeh and Barzeen Soroudi rushed on stage as Ryan and Cheryl were listening to a critique from Judge Carrie Ann Inaba. The infuriated judge had told the men to back off as they interrupted the live recording.
Ryan Lochte would later describe the DWTS incident as having his heart wrenched out and stepped on, after trying to pick up the pieces and move on from the Rio controversy. He revealed that the encouraging words of his co-dancer spurred him to keep going.
“It was hard. I felt like someone reached inside of me, pulled out my heart and just stepped on it. I was really heartbroken…but I turned to Cheryl and just smiled at me and she said: ‘You did amazing… you did something that you couldn’t do before… you danced.'”
Lochte said at his lowest point during the Rio scandal he reached out to Michael Phelps, hoping he would advise him on how to deal with the media after going through his own bad patch. Lochte said he sent Phelps texts, but the legendary swimmer never got back to him.
Ryan Lochte is getting plenty of help from his support cast on DTWS. Van Winkle was one of the cast members to give the disgraced swimmer a pep talk before the series began in August.
“He seemed lost and embarrassed. He didn’t know what to say, you could see it. I told him, ‘Put it together man, yesterday’s history and tomorrow’s a mystery. What you did yesterday you can’t go back and change it. It happened. It’s done.'”
Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, said Van Winkle talked him out of quitting the show after protesters stormed the stage. Ryan said the entire cast of the show had been immensely supportive and propped him up from the lowest point of his life back to where he could breathe and go on living.
[Featured image by Michael Sohn/AP Images]