You would have to be living under a rock to have missed the cryptocurrency scandal surrounding FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. As his world began to crumble, we watched him turn to all public avenues from media interviews to social media channels to clear his name. This surely made all crisis communications experts like myself cringe with anxiety while simultaneously eating popcorn in amusement.

From what we know so far, SBF’s alleged intentional-or-unintentional mismanagement of FTX led to the loss of billions of customer dollars, resulting in the fast and furious collapse of a man who was once considered a “hero” in the crypto world. There is still a long way to go in learning whether crimes were committed, but it is crystal clear that SBF’s desperation level is at an all-time high to clear his name and his reputation.

Was he following advice on media strategy or was he going rogue? My guess is he was not listening to sound counsel. As this bombshell crisis was unraveling, SBF would have benefited from taking a minute, or a month, to strategize and formulate the best way to deliver his side of the story. Sometimes, the best message is to just issue a short statement until there is more concrete information to react to at a future date. Sometimes, it’s important to head off the media scrutiny before it even begins by offering up interviews and accessibility. In this case, the latter option is rife with risk.

While SBF has contradicted his own statements plenty of times through his social media channels and media interviews, the complexity of the cryptocurrency makes some of his answers seem plausible to the regular person. But with an ongoing federal criminal case unfolding, silence—for now—would be his best option.

It’s difficult to stay patient when your reputation is at stake, but sometimes the most damage is done in the knee-jerk reaction. Take a deep breath, and look before you leap.

Written by Vice President Eleni Demertzis, who is a highly respected public affairs strategist with over a decade of experience at the highest levels of Illinois government and statewide political campaigns.