AP Photo/Michael Sohn
Though its only been two months since his Rio robbery scandal, Ryan Lochte is hoping time heals all.
The Olympic gold medalist dominated headlines this summer at the Olympics when he inaccurately claimed in a televised interview on Today that he and his teammates had been pulled over in their car by armed thieves posing as policemen and one had put a gun to his forehead.
Rio police could not corroborate the swimmer's story and, following conflicting reports, further investigation, security footage from a gas station where the altercation actually took place and an accompanying media frenzy, Lochte issued a public apology. "I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend—for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning," he explained on social media in August.
Since that turbulent time, Lochte has made it five weeks into the Dancing With the Stars competition and celebrated a major personal milestone when he proposed to his girlfriend Kayla Rae Reid over the weekend. Now an official husband-to-be, the 32-year-old has learned valuable lessons from his time in Brazil and is waiting out any remaining storm.
"Things have gotten better for him and he is just happy now about his engagement," a source told E! News exclusively. "He knows with time people will forgive him. Many have already."
In fact, the Rio scandal played a subtle role in deciding to ask Reid to marry him. "One of the main reasons he proposed to his girlfriend is because she was one of the only people that stuck by his side," the source added.
He ultimately popped the question on Malibu Canyon after a romantic helicopter ride from Burbank over downtown Los Angeles, complete with champagne, strawberries and cheesecake.
When it came time to offer Reid an engagement sparkler, Lochte had a custom platinum ring with a radiant cut diamond ready for his future bride. The future Mrs. Lochte seemed pleased with the surprise plan.
"Speechless. Absolutely beautiful," the model gushed on Instagram after the proposal. "So in love with YOU."