Three months after he was released from custody, NBA player Jayson Williams is opening up about the ordeal. In an interview with The Associated Press, Williams expressed remorse for the actions that led him to serve eight months at New York’s Rikers Island on drunk driving charges, and 18 months of his involvement in the 2002 shooting death of limo driver Costas “Gus” Christofi.
Now that he’s free, Williams has been adjusting to life outside of custody. He has since quit drinking, and downsized his once lavish lifestyle. “People say, ‘Jay, you’re a great guy, you just had a couple of bad nights,’” he said. “People that have themselves under control don’t have a couple of bad nights like that. Plain and simple. I could have been better. That’s my goal now, to be better.”
Williams, a victim of sexual abuse, details his upbringing and downward spiral in his new book Humbled: Letters From Prison. The book is a collection of prison journal entries, poems, and letters—some of which were written to NBA Commissioner David Stern. Although writing down his feelings helped him pass the time, recounting the abuse was challenging. “I don’t like talking about it and I won’t talk about it,” he said. “That was the most embarrassing thing to write. The most painful. It was very painful for me to read the book again.”
To ensure that he doesn’t get into any more trouble, the 44-year-old sees a psychiatrist, and has enrolled into an alcohol recover and treatment program. “I’ve never been in trouble without alcohol,” he said. “So I took it away. I’m damn sure not going back to jail.”
Following Christofi’s death, Williams was ordered to pay the victim’s wife $2.75 million.
Click below to view a few post-prison candids of Williams.
MORE ON HIP-HOP WIRED!