Los Angeles Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell and teammate Nick Young addressed a media firestorm Wednesday after Russell allegedly recorded secret video of Young talking about encounters with women other than his fiancée, rapper Iggy Azalea.
The video, which surfaced Friday on Twitter and quickly went viral, appears to show Russell asking Young about how many women he had been with. Young's answer suggests the former USC Trojan had cheated on Azalea with a 19-year-old.
Young and Azalea postponed their wedding earlier this month, but an E! report says the couple are "doing well" despite the controversy. Azalea responded to the video in a tweet early Wednesday, saying, "hmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending... I actually liked his film. Thanks bro."
According to an ESPN report, the team began shunning 20-year-old Russell after the video went viral. Russell disputed that claim during Wednesday's press conference but said there had been a "bad vibe" among teammates since the video went public.
Visibly distraught, Young spoke first Wednesday evening, opting only to make a brief statement. He did not field any questions.
"I don't want to get into my personal life right now," Young said, calling the situation a private matter that he would handle with Russell out of the public eye. "We're going to work on it."
Russell took the opposite approach, taking questions but making no statement. The rookie owned up to jeopardizing his teammate's personal life and said he was "as sick as possible" when asked how he felt about the private video going public.
"I wish I could make things better right away, but I can't," he said.
In responding to a question about whether he knew how the video had leaked, Russell said, "honestly, no," adding, "It was for my eyes, his eyes only."
"I don't have a clue how that got out there," Russell said. "If I know the answer to that I would let you guys know. I didn't put that out there."
He ended by saying "the damage has been done."
"The best thing you can do is own up to it, and that's what I did," Russell said. "I'm owning up to it to full effect and taking what comes with it."