Lara Logan breaks her silence on ‘60 Minutes’: ‘They raped me with their hands’
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Breaking a months-long silence, CBS war correspondent Lara Logan talked to ’60 Minutes’ on Sunday night about what really happened to her in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. On the night of Feb. 11, as the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak was falling, Logan joined the more than 100,000 people celebrating in the square, where she says a mob turned on her and sexually assaulted her.
‘Suddenly, before I even know what’s happening, I feel hands grabbing my breasts, grabbing my crotch, grabbing me from behind,’ she told Scott Pelley of ’60 Minutes.’
Things quickly spiraled out of control. ‘I think my shirt, my sweater was torn off completely,’ she said. ‘My shirt was around my neck. I felt the moment that my bra tore. ... And I felt them tear out, they literally just tore my pants to shreds. ... I didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things, because I couldn’t even feel that. Because I think of the sexual assault, was all I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again. ... They were tearing my body in every direction at this point, tearing my muscles. And they were trying to tear off chunks of my scalp, they had my head in different directions.’
Logan said she was fighting for 25 minutes and didn’t think she would live. ‘I was in no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying,’ she said. But thinking about her two children at home in Washington helped her focus on staying alive.
Eventually, she said, she was rescued by a woman dressed head to toe in black religious robes. ‘Just her eyes, I remember [I could see] just her eyes,’ Logan said. ‘She put her arms around me. And oh my God, I can’t tell you what that moment was like for me. I wasn’t safe yet, because the mob was still trying to get at me. But now it wasn’t just about me anymore.
‘It was about their women and that was what saved me, I think,’ she said. ‘The women kind of closed ranks around me.’
Logan flew back to Washington, where she spent four days in a hospital as she was treated for cuts, bruises and internal tearing. She’s been recovering at home with her husband and children. ‘I felt like I had been given a second chance that I didn’t deserve,’ she said of her family. ‘I came so close to leaving them, to abandoning them.’
Logan told ’60 Minutes’ that she was speaking out to help end the code of silence surrounding sex assaults on female journalists. You can watch a clip of the segment here.
-- Melissa Maerz