Former basketball star Dennis Rodman has checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center to seek treatment for his long-standing battle with alcoholism, according to his agent who released a written statement Sunday that mentioned the pressure Rodman has been under due to the backlash he’s received since returning from his most recent trip to North Korea.
"Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination 'super human' political figure and 'fixer' got the better of him," said the statement from his agent, Darren Prince.
"He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused."
Prince said Rodman was drinking heavily during his last visit to North Korea, where he led a crowd of onlookers at a basketball game between former NBA players and a North Korean team in singing “Happy Birthday” to the nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un, whom Rodman has befriended.
The day before the basketball exhibition, during a strange interview with CNN, Rodman appeared incoherent at times, throwing out expletives and practically suggesting that Kenneth Bae, the American who’s been held in captivity by North Korea for over a year, was responsible for his own capture.
The family of Bae was outraged by his reckless comments, and a backlash against Rodman ensued for his failure to influence his friend Kim Jong Un to release Bae from captivity.
"What was potentially a historic and monumental event turned into a nightmare for everyone concerned," Prince told The Associated Press.
Since then, Rodman has apologized for his comments about Bae, admitting that he had been drinking and was stressed over some of his teammates leaving under pressure.
Rodman, who has won five NBA championships, is the best-known American to meet the reclusive Kim Jong Un.
In the meantime, this isn’t the first time the NBA Hall of Famer has sought treatment for his alcohol problem. In 2008, he entered an outpatient rehab center – and, one year later, he appeared on the reality TV show,"Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."
Unfortunately, Rodman has continued to struggle with alcoholism, which according to an article in the Los Angeles Times in 2012 had left Rodman broke, unemployable and facing mounting legal troubles.
His former financial adviser, Peggy Williams, once said that his alcoholism makes it difficult for him to get work.
"In all honesty, Dennis, although a very sweet person, is an alcoholic," she was quoted as saying.