Oprah said she was surprised and memorized by cyclist Lance Armstrong’s answers during the two hour interview she did yesterday. Oprah has extended the interview, in which he admits his drug use to Thursday and Friday night on the OWN network in the US and the Discovery Channel in the UK.
The Daily Mail reported Oprah told CBS, “He did not come clean in the manner I expected, I was surprised. Myself and the whole team were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers.” She added, “I think he answered my questions satisfactorily. He was thoughtful and serious and had prepared himself for this moment and at the end of it we were both pretty exhausted.”
“A couple of times he was emotional but emotional doesn’t begin to describe the intensity and the difficulty he had talking about these issues” the Guardian reports.
Shortly after the interview at Armstrong’s Austin home, Oprah tweeted, “Just wrapped with (at)lancearmstrong More than 2 ½ hours. He came READY!” During the interview Armstrong only talks about himself and does not go into specifics according to sources. Oprah was scheduled to appear on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday to discuss the interview.
The interview with Oprah marks the beginning of Armstrong’s public campaign for redemption. On his way to the interview, he stopped at the Livestrong Foundation and apologized for disappointing the staff and putting the foundation at risk. He did not mention his drug use. He said he would try to restore the reputation of the foundation and encouraged the staff members to continue helping cancer patients and their families. Armstrong resigned from the board of directors in October.
Armstrong also met with cyclist Travis Tygart in a conference room at the Denver Airport. Armstrong’s lawyers were against the meeting, which ended with Tygart’s refusal to lessen his lifetime ban. Tygart told Armstrong he had multiple chances to come clean. Armstrong responded by saying, “You don’t hold the keys to my redemption. There’s one person who holds the keys to my redemption and that’s me” before walking out according to a Wall Street Journal source.
Armstrong still have to face many legal battles. Former teammate, Floyd Landis, who also lost a Tour de France title for doping, filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit that accuses Armstrong of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service by using performance enhancing drugs. Armstrong is currently in discussions with the U.S. Justice Department about testifying in this case. The Justice Department has not yet decided if they will join the case as a plaintiff. Additionally, Armstrong faces lawsuits from The Sunday Times to recover a libel lawsuit settlement and possibly from SCA Promotions about a disputed settlement from an arbitration panel.
Watch the teaser clip of Oprah’s interview here: