2 Celebs close to him that gave their opinions 'on the record' of Lance Armstrong's Confession.

They sound a lot alike.

Exclusive: Lance Armstrong's Friend Matthew McConaughey Breaks Silence On Scandal
The actor tells MTV News that Armstrong's doping confession to Oprah left him at first 'pissed' and then hopeful for the future.
By Eric Ditzian
PARK CITY, Utah—Lance Armstrong's two-night interview with Oprah Winfrey — in which the disgraced cyclist admitted to doping, bullying his detractors and never considering himself a cheater — left a slew of questions unanswered and the fate of Armstrong's hoped-for public redemption uncertain.

People remain angry at the seven-time Tour de France winner. Armstrong's good friend Matthew McConaughey understands where they're coming from, as the actor exclusively told MTV News at the Sundance Film Festival, because he too was upset.

"My first reaction was I was pissed off," he said, explaining that he wanted to be "delicate" in how he addressed the scandal. "I was mad. I then got kind of sad for him. First off, I had a part of me that took it kind of personally, which I think a lot of people have."

"For him, it was impersonal because he was living a lie," McConaughey added. "It was a whole unanimous facade he had to carry around."

Their friendship stretches back years. Both men call Austin, Texas home, and their longtime bromance included shirtless marathon training sessions, beach vacations, and work together on Armstrong's Livestrong nonprofit to support people affected by cancer. McConaughey's initial anger at his pal's lies, though, gradually gave way to a more nuanced and generous understanding of the unfolding scandal.

"What I realized is that those of us that took that personally, like, 'Oh, he lied to me,' it's not true," said McConaughey, who was in Sundance to promote his buzzy drama, "Mud." "What I mean by this is, what was he supposed to do? Call me to the side and go, 'Hey man, I did it but don't tell anybody.' Then I would have really had a reason to be pissed off at him, going, 'You want me to walk around holding this?' "

During Friday's Oprah interview, Armstrong spoke directly to the millions of fans who felt betrayed by his vehement cover-up effort. "I lied to you and I'm sorry," he said. "I am committed to spending as long as I have to to make amends, knowing full well I won't get many back."

McConaughey, for his part, is trying to find his way back. "Where I am now is I've put myself out of the way and I am happy for this guy, who has now chosen to reenter this new chapter of his life a truly free man. And the weight he had on his shoulders, without the boogieman under the bed, the skeleton in the closet that he's carried for 14 years. Fourteen years he lied and carried the lie with him."

Like Armstrong, McConaughey acknowledged that many fans might never forgive the disgraced hero, a fact the actor completely understands. So too does he understand the long, painful road his friend must now travel.

"You know the old line that Oprah said the other night, 'The truth will set you free,' " he explained. "Yeah, but she forgot one part. It's miserable in the beginning. And it's going to be miserable. But he's looking it in the eye, and he'll handle it. He'll deal. And he's ready for how hard it's going to be to deal."

In my opinion, at the end of it all, this so-called life, his legacy will be what he did for cancer," he added. "That's what will go on living. That's if he doesn't do anything else."


Sheryl Crow 'Felt Bad' for Lance Armstrong After Doping Confession
Lance Armstrong with Oprah Winfrey. Inset of Sheryl Crow

There is at least one person who feels empathy for Lance Armstrong in the wake of his shocking doping confession: his ex-fiancée, Sheryl Crow.

Following the cyclist's televised admission to Oprah Winfrey, Crow, 50, appeared on Entertainment Tonight, where she briefly discussed the scandal surrounding her ex.

"I know how hard he worked to win those titles, and you know, it was hard to watch," Crow said, referring to his Tour de France wins. (In August, Armstrong, 41, was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.)

Crow says she caught bits and pieces of Armstrong's two-part interview with Winfrey. "I felt bad. I felt bad for him, I felt bad for his family and I kind of felt like the rest of America," said the singer. "He is a hero we watched and looked up to and admire."

But Crow believes at least Armstrong now feels a sense of relief.

"I think that honesty is always the best bet and that the truth will always set you free," she said. "It's got to be really hard walking around, knowing you're not telling the truth about something. I always contend that the truth is the best way to go."

Banned for life from competing, the athlete originally vehemently denied the doping claims.

Crow, who dated Armstrong from 2003 to 2006, did not discuss speculation about whether or not she knew the cyclist was involved in doping.