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Michael Phelps to Matt Lauer: 'It was an awful judgment'

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Today’s Matt Lauer has snagged the first interview with Michael Phelps, the 23-year-old Olympic swimmer who torpedoed back into the headlines last month after a photo surfaced of him allegedly smoking pot at a college party. In the interview, which will air Friday on Today and Sunday on Dateline, Phelps talks about the fateful party at the University of South Carolina last November that was attended by “two or three people there I didn’t know…. It was a very small group. Six or seven people, probably, total in the whole house. Like nothing major,” Phelps recalls. As for the damning photo of him, “It was an awful judgment. The people I hurt, you know, is my family, clearly. My friends. And most importantly, the fans.”

Phelps doesn’t appear to have lost any sleep over Kellogg Cereal, which dropped him as a spokesman once the infamous photo surfaced. “It’s not about money to me,” he tells Lauer. “So, you know, the…the contract side of things, yeah, I was disappointed. But, you know, I think the biggest thing is…is who I hurt the most. If I lost money, okay…it’s not an issue with me.”