Michael Phelps may have a bit more to worry about than losing some of us promotional contracts, he could lose his freedom. The 14-time gold medalist was shown smoking marijuana from a pipe. In both real estate and criminal law, the key is always location, location, location. This was not a good location to go for the Acapulco gold. South Carolina prosecutors are looking into charges and in Richland County, Phelps could get as much as 30 days — though jail is rare in such cases.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he is trying to prove that the picture came from his county and involved pot. This makes some of Phelps public comments problematic for his defense counsel. The incident appears to have occurred during a visit at the University of South Carolina. His sponsors — Speedo and Swiss watchmaker Omega — have already said that they are not troubled by the incident, but might change their minds if he is criminally charged. He has also apologized to the International Olympic Committee.
This falls under the category of “one day on the cover of Time, the next day doing Time.” With the picture, the apology, and back story, prosecutors are likely to jump on the case.
Such cases of incriminating video do occur in the age of YouTube, including the case of billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III . Obviously, you have to prove the content of the pipe, but a denial by Phelps after all of his apologies would seem a bit strange. He also does not want to get into a fight with prosecutors, who might give him a misdemeanor fine and be done with it.
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