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Rodman Apologizes for Comments on American Held by North Korea

Critics call foul on Rodman 7:44

Dennis Rodman is reportedly apologizing for comments he made in an interview about an American missionary held captive in North Korea for more than a year.

The former NBA star, who has cozied up to North Korea’s young dictator, made the apology through an email sent by publicist Jules Feiler, The Associated Press reported.

"I want to apologize," Rodman said in the email to AP. "I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It's not an excuse, it's just the truth."

In the bizarre, expletive-littered and sometimes incoherent interview with CNN on Tuesday, Rodman came close to suggesting that the American, Kenneth Bae, was responsible for his captivity.

Bae, 45, was leading a tour group in North Korea when he was detained. He was convicted of trying to overthrow the government and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Rodman told CNN on Tuesday that the visit to North Korea, his fourth, was a "great idea for the world" and might "open the door." But he bristled when pressed on whether he would try to help Bae.

"Do you understand what he did in this country?" Rodman angrily demanded of the interviewer, Chris Cuomo. “Why is he held captive in this country?"

"My family and I are outraged," Bae’s sister Terri Chung said in a statement about the interview. "He is playing games with my brother’s life. There is no diplomacy, only games, and at my brother's expense."

Rodman also was roundly criticized for leading a crowd at a North Korean auditorium in serenading the leader, Kim Jong Un, with "Happy Birthday" on Wednesday at an exhibition game between former NBA players and a North Korean team.

NBC News' Gil Aegerter contributed to this report.