Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps spoke out in his first interview since a British tabloid published a photo of him smoking marijuana out of a bong, telling the Baltimore Sun on Wednesday that he's embarrassed and "clearly made a mistake."
The 23-year-old gold medalist, a native of the Baltimore area, spoke with a reporter from The Sun for almost 10 minutes after practice without media handlers, the newspaper reported.
"It's obviously bad judgment and it's something I'm not proud of at all," Phelps told The Sun. "I will say that with the mistakes that I've made in my life, I've learned from them. ... That's what I plan to do from here. It's definitely not what I wanted, and it's clearly not what my mom wanted."
Phelps told the Sun he was not a regular marijuana smoker, and that it "definitely wasn't easy" to tell his mother – a middle school principal – about the incident.
Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence and got 18 months probation in 2004, when he was 19, and he said the latest controversy reminded him of his mother's disapproval after the drunken driving arrest.
"This is just a stupid thing of mine that I did, and I have to live with it," he told the Sun.