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Never let it be said that you can't get in trouble for interrupting production of a TV show, even one as fluffy as Dancing with the Stars. We've finally got some news on those protestors who tried to rush Ryan Lochte during the live premiere of the show a couple of weeks ago, and things are not looking too bright for the duo.
Sam Sotoodeh and Barzeen Soroudi, the two men who left the live audience of Dancing with the Stars during this season's premiere episode and ran onto the ballroom floor to rush Ryan Lochte, are both being charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office with leaving a spectator area and entering the stage, as well as interfering with a performance. Both charges are misdemeanors, and if the men are found guilty they could each wind up with six months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.
If you were watching the show's Season 23 opener two weeks ago, you know that right after Ryan Lochte performed with dancing pro Cheryl Burke, the two were preparing to get their marks from the judges when Carrie Ann Inaba was interrupted by the protestors running onto the floor, just off camera, and trying to make their objections of Lochte's appearance on the show public. The report from TMZ on the charges being filed against 48-year-old Sotoodeh and 40-year-old Soroudi also includes a behind the scenes video that shows the full effect of the chaos that erupted on set after the men hit the dance floor. Security got there pretty quickly and subdued the men, while another dancing pro, Derek Hough, told the crew of four or five female protestors who continued to sit in the audience and scream at Lochte, to get out.
All of this was, of course, brought on by Ryan Lochte's allegations that he and some of his teammates were robbed at gun point during the Rio Olympics in August. The story turned out to be mostly untrue and was made up by Lochte to cover what appears to be a night of poor, drunken behavior by himself and his cohorts on the swim team. Those allegations were taken very seriously in Brazil before we knew what happened, though, and it led to some arrests. That included the arrest of a family member of the protestors, which is what led them to show up wearing anti-Lochte shirts during the DWTS premiere and cause trouble.
It's not at all surprising that Sam Sotoodeh and Barzeen Soroudi have had criminal charges brought against them. They must have had some idea that storming the ballroom floor during a taping of DWTS would get them into some major trouble. You can't just go after a cast member of a TV show on set and have nothing happen. They better be glad they didn't have a chance to rough up poor Ryan Lochte, or the possible punishments would surely be even worse.