Saturday, August 13, 2022

Rogue Audience Members Try to Bum-Rush Ryan Lochte During ‘DWTS’ Debut; 2 Arrested (Watch)

(L-R): Tom Bergeron, Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke
(L-R): Tom Bergeron, Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke

*You gotta love live television. Several audience members attending Monday’s season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” staged a protest against contestant Ryan Lochte that disrupted the live broadcast and resulted in two men being hauled away in handcuffs.

Lochte has been under fire in recent weeks for weaving a false tale about being robbed at gunpoint during the Rio summer Olympic games last month.

Sam Sododeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40, were detained by private security for “DWTS” and arrested for suspicion of trespassing after the LAPD was called in to CBS Television City, where “DWTS” originates. ABC News radio correspondent Jason Nathanson tweeted a photo of pair in handcuffs wearing anti-Lochte shirts featuring the swimmer’s name with a red circle and line through the middle.

According to Variety, video posted on social media taken from the audience section also showed a group of at least five women wearing shirts with the same anti-Lochte symbol. They chanted “liar, liar” before being ushered out by security.

The incident began just as Lochte and his professional partner Cheryl Burke were hearing the judges’ opinions of their performance. The two men appeared to rush the stage. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was heard yelling, “Excuse me! Hey, back off!” Someone could briefly be seen rushing in front of the camera.

Watch below:

More details via Variety:

Sododeh and Soroudi were “authorized” audience members who changed their clothes once inside the soundstage, according to LAPD Officer Mike Lopez. The pair “unlawfully entered the stage in an attempt to confront Mr. Lochte,” Lopez said. “No dancers or celebrities were touched” during the incident, Lopez added.

Lochte was visibly shocked just before the show cut to commercial. He later told Bergeron, “I’m doing good.” He told ABC News that he intended to “brush it off, and keep going.”

After the four-minute commercial break, the “DWTS” competition continued with a performance by Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.

The show aired live on the East Coast and also aired live in Los Angeles and San Francisco because ABC’s primetime schedule in the West was preempted for football coverage.

The arrests were made around 7:40 p.m. PT.

Watch “GMA’s” Tuesday morning recap of the incident below:



  1. Not surprising in the land of “I Have A Right To Do Anything I Damned Well Please”. No respect for anyone or anything anymore. Nope. Not surprising at all.

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