Ryan Lochte, at 32, is a 12-time Olympic medalist and has been in the international spotlight for years. After London’s 2012 Olympics, Lochte became an overnight celebrity thanks to his five medals and his catchphrase (“Jeah!”). He came out of the Rio Olympics this year as the second most decorated male Olympic swimmer of all time– but thanks to Lochte’s lie to the world about what happened to him on the streets of Rio, his international reputation may be taking a hit.
Here’s a closer look at Lochte’s net worth, the Rio scandal and the subsequent consequences.
1. Protesters Rushed the Stage After his First Dancing With The Stars Performance
It came out that Lochte would be competing on DWTS after the incident in Rio, and some thought he should be lying low rather than staying in the spotlight. However, Lochte signed on to DWTS before he even left for Rio, and told Ellen DeGeneres that he wanted to stick with it so he could overcome his past mistakes, according to E! Online.
The protest started after Lochte and his partner finished their dance, according to an E! Online reporter who was in the audience. One man charged down the aisle toward the stage, and those in the audience weren’t sure if it was planned — until Lochte moved aside to make room for security officers.
There were a few more protesters swarming toward the stage, chanting “liar” and wearing matching shirts printed with Lochte’s name crossed out. Once audience members realized what was happening, another chant — “we love Lochte” — surfaced in support of the swimmer.
The protesters’ antics didn’t make it on air, though, as ABC cut to an unscheduled commercial break. The men were then arrested and taken into custody by the LAPD, according to Billboard. USA Today reported that the protesters were charged with misdemeanor violations.
2. Before his Olympics Scandal, he was Worth More Than $6 Million
Though Lochte only made $30,000/year from USA Swimming, Money Nation says his net worth was around $6 million at the start of the 2016 Olympics. Almost all of that money comes from lucrative sponsorships, like his 10-year contract with Speedo USA.
His net worth in 2012 was only $3 million according to The Richest, but has effectively doubled since then.
However, that success was short-lived. When Lochte was in Rio he claimed he and three other athletes were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station by men disguised as police on August 14 2016. After further investigation, it seems that Lochte and company were drunk, vandalizing the gas station by urinating on the property, and were caught by police and forced to pay for damages.
The scandal was widely publicized, and according to The Guardian, Lochte left Rio before a judge could even order him to stay. ESPN reports that, as a result, Lochte was banned from competition for 10 months, dropped from the Olympic team’s White House visit, ordered to perform 20 hours of community service, and forced to forfeit $100,000 in medal bonuses.
3. Ralph Lauren, Speedo USA, Airweave & Gentle Hair Removal Have Already Severed Ties With Lochte
The scandal in Rio didn’t rub sponsors the right way, and Lochte is losing money. Sponsors are continuing to leave Lochte behind, with Ralph Lauren and Speedo USA leading the way. The Daily Mail reported that Speedo USA is even donating $50,000 of Lochte’s would-be money to a Brazilian charity for impoverished children.
More companies may leave Lochte in the future, and Forbes suggested he may lose up to $10 million due to his Rio scandal. In the meantime, Lochte is on a 10-month probation enforced by USA Swimming, and according to E! Online confided to Ellen DeGeneres that “it’s heartbreaking and it sucks.”
4. He Went to Michael Phelps for Advice on the Scandal
E! Online reports that when Lochte was on The Ellen Show, his suspension wasn’t the only thing he opened up about. He also mentioned that he went to fellow swimmer Michael Phelps for advice on his Rio scandal.
“I reached out to him because I knew he hit a low point in his life and he bounced back from it and I knew his answer was gonna be really honest because of our relationship over the years,” Lochte told Ellen. “He said, ‘It’s not what you did it’s what you do now that will shape who you are.'”
Lochte said he took Phelps’s advice to heart, and hopes he can be a better person in the future.
ESPN reported that Phelps also warned Lochte before the scandal to “not do anything bad,” and “keep his head on straight.”
He also told Ellen that, despite feeling a bit burnt out on swimming, he does plan to swim in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “Now that the suspension and everything has happened I can take that mental break,” he said. “But I still have goals that I want to accomplish so I will definitely be back and hopefully I’ll be ready to rock and roll.”
5. Lochte Went Public With his Relationship With a Playboy Model
Until recently, Lochte went to extreme lengths to prove he was still single after rumors that he and Playboy Playmate Kayla Rae Reid were dating began circulating. Mic reported that he specified that he has a “verified” Tinder account, and NY Mag wrote that he even went on the Today show just to tell the world that, yes, he’s single.
Not anymore, though. People Magazine confirmed that Lochte is dating Reid — and that the two have even moved in together.
The rumors about Reid and Lochte started circulating back in August, due to a Snapchat photo of Reid sitting on his lap, People Magazine reported. The two apparently have a history, with Reid saying Lochte is her “favorite person on the planet.” Immediately, the world assumed that Reid and Lochte were dating.
In this case, the world was right.