Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay could have avoided a drunken driving charge in 2014 if he were anything other than a white billionaire, he told HBO.
During an interview with Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, 64-year-old Irsay told interviewer Andrea Kremer that he was discriminated against nine years ago when he was arrested in Carmel, Indiana on suspicion of driving under the influence.
“I’m biased because I’m a rich, white billionaire,” Irsay told Kremer. “If I’m just the average guy from the neighborhood, they won’t move me in, of course not.”
When given the opportunity to rephrase his statement, Irsay instead doubled down on his belief that he was the victim of prejudice.
“I don’t care what it sounds like,” he said. ‘It’s the truth.
Irsay could have avoided drunk driving charges in 2014 if he had been anything but a white billionaire, he says
Jim Irsay says he was on medication when he was arrested for drunken driving in 2014
“You know, Andrea, I give a damn what people think, what something sounds like or sounds like. The truth is the truth and I know the truth.’
Regardless of why he was stopped, Irsay pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and has since acknowledged that he had prescription painkillers and a sedative in his system at the time of his arrest following hip surgery .
With Kremer, Irsay claimed he only failed the field sobriety test because he had recently undergone that hip procedure.
Carmel police released a statement to the Indianapolis Star.
“We are very sorry to hear that comment about our officers and our department,” the statement said. “We have a highly professional office made up of officers who strive to protect our community with integrity and professionalism.”
Although Irsay has struggled with drug problems, he told Kremer that he has been to rehab 15 times and at one point almost died of an overdose.
Also in 2014, according to IndyStar.com, a woman said to be Irsay’s mistress was found dead in a mansion provided by the billionaire.
Like Irsay, Kimberly Wundrum, 42, also had a history of drug problems, according to the Star.
Irsay’s fortune comes from his family’s heating and cooling empire, not to mention the Colts, a team his late father bought in Baltimore in 1972 before famously moving the franchise to Indianapolis nine years later.