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Lara Logan breaks her silence on '60 Minutes': 'They raped me with their hands'

Logan 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

Photo: Lara Logan. Credit: Joe Corrigan / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (33)

welcome back lara,i was in the streets of fallujah when you were in ramadi i always said you were one tough girl and you sure did not let me down,i am not sure what made me happier sunday night, getting you back or getting bin laden all i know is that it was a wonderful nite so from my family to you and yours,you all are in our prayers. semper fi Altoona pa

I was moved by your interview on 60 minutes. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for speaking out on Violence against Women everywhere. You are a brave woman in my book. God Bless You.

How a professional journalist can go into a situation like she did, totally uninformed about the social climate, and thinking her press credentials will give her a pass is unbelievable. She shoudl find another profession.

She in no way deserved what happened to her and I felt rage building inside me, for vengeance on those who attacked her, as she told her story. I would also put quite a bit of blame on the producer who put the entire group into jeopardy in the first place.

Thank you Ms Logan for your willingness to expose the brutality toward women as practiced by FUNDAMENTALIST Islam in Sharia-infested nations like Egypt and Pakistan.

While those are not the only places where women are oppressed, brutalized and abused, misogynistic brutality has long been INSTITUTIONALIZED in the barbaric "legal code" known as Sharia Law.

What happened to Lara was horrendous and shouldn't happen to any woman. However, the entire episode begs the question as to why she was there in the first place. She doesn't speak Arabic so didn't sense the danger until it was too late and shockingly she said she didn't realize that sexual abuse and harrassmen­t was so common in Egypt! My god, if you call yourself a foreign correspond­ent do some homework before you rush into a mob scene.
Her previous experience as a foreign correspond­ent was an embed with American troops. This Egyptian posting seems to have been a foolhardy exercise on her part and on the part of CBS. Other networks like CNN and NBC have excellent, savvy Arabic speakers like Richard Engel and Arwa Damon who know the territory. What possible value added could sending Lara bring to the party?

The attackers will rot in hell with the other eternal virgin seeking male pigs in that culture.

I'm glad for you and your family that you survived. Maybe in the future you will think more cautiously about the positions you put yourself and your family in, all for the sake of your career.
I have had many opportunities to work overseas, in danger zones for my company - no matter how much they pay (and sometimes its double my salary, no US taxes withdrawn) I would never do that to my wife and children.

Those kind of assignments are best left for the single unattached folks.

It was interesting to me that the rabid antisemitism of the mob was barely made mention by the male commentator during the story and never mentioned by the victim herself. The mob was chanting, "Jew! Jew!" during the assault but of course, this was not explored at all.

@ Ratbag. You are well named. You've now gone around to several sites which are reporting this story and commented basically the same victim-blaming idiocy about why she was there in the first place. Her creds to be there don't need any defending. Your problem appears to be the fact that a woman was there in a dangerous place. Well guess what. The world is dangerous and it needs a woman's point of view to interpret as well. What occured is tragic, but she is one brave woman, and she is back at work already. Where she belongs.

I am shocked at what some have posted. Are you blaming her for what happened? She was doing her job...instead of criticizing her you should be praising her for her bravery. How many of you men would be brave enough to do what journalists do every day? I doubt that many would. I am most ashamed of any woman that would lash out at her. You should be comforting her with your words not attacking and verbally raping her all over again.

The thing that bothered me in her 60 minutes piece is that this woman who is well spoken kept uttering the line "I was abandoning my children". She is well spoken enough to preface that argument with the words "I felt like" as most who heard it would have assumed she meant.
But, knowing she is smart and well educated and well spoken I have to wonder in this minimal stress interview why she was creating the impression that doing her job amounted to child abandonement. She faced the possibility of death many times previously if she thinks that way, why not stop then?
It is just very very disturbuing to me this anomally in her language use.
I have to wonder; Is she advocating that woman no longer be journalists in dangerous regions if they have children? Its just a real odd way for the irrational guilt resulting from a sexual assault to come out.

I see we've skipped directly to the victim-blaming part of tonight's rape apologia.

Verballistic, my Israeli friend, you didn't waste much time in blaming Islam for the actions of angry animals. It was the muslim women who came to Lara's help. If anyone of these animal is caught, he would be put to death according to Islamic law for attacking the honor of a woman.

But you already knew that. Your hope is to spread enough misinformation so that people start associating the religion with the acts perpetrated by so-called Muslims. Judging by the posts below, this seems to be working.

I'm not sure I believe her story. After all, our press has spent years convincing us that any allegation that radical Muslims are violent equals racism and bigotry, and that the only 'real' violence in politics occurs at Tea Party rallies.

So perhaps Lara is just 'misremembering' her ordeal?

Lara Logan is hero

Dear Lara ,

in my name and in behalf of all our arabic world, we want you to know that we feel deep sad and deep shame of those criminals who did this to you ,and we wanna say that we thank you for being there ,for being hero ,thank you for everything , ,thank you for being nobel and for being a voice to people,you are hero , hope the days heal you from those criminals who wanted to spoil the voice of truth ,Thank you for everything you did ,and we are thinking of you . we are your fond ...

Don't think there is anything i can say to change what has happened to you but i wish you all the best things that can be given to one person. You have a good start with 2 kids tho. Your brave , beautiful, inteligent and prity strong to be able to do what you are doing. Just wish i was there to kill everyone that touched you. Honestly wouldn't bat an eyelid over them.

Really hope you can forget or atleast put away to a place where you never go.

This is fi a scotsman in bed with a dog thats taking up half the bed.
ps probably spelling mistakes and bad grammar, don't hold it against me. :)

This was a difficult piece to watch. The men who did this are animals. Mistakes were made in my opinion to put Lara in harms way but that's all hindsight. She's a valuable reporter and a courageous woman. I thank God for the women who helped her. They are true heroes. They live in that environment every day. Thank you Lara and welcome back.

There are many Arabic speaking women like Arwa Damon who know the landscape who have the sense not to wade into a frenzied mob. I think you are blind to the fact that because you find Lara Logan attractive, you think she is qualified to be a foreign correspondent.

Seriously, Logan herself stated that she was unaware of the climate of sexual abuse and harrassment in Egypt. How naive is that?

Totally shocked and saddened by the events of such actions; but, I'd like to know more about the woman who rescued her.

The thing I got out of this article is, thank goodness for her safety AND living proof that "they" aren't all bad, as some(some media, many politicians) would make the people of the middle east out to be.
The women who rescued her are fully aware of the oppression in which they live, yet summoned what must have been a herculean amount of courage to dive into the rabid mob and rescue a stranger. Wow courageous indeed. No matter their religion, these were true heroes, too bad many of the men in that country will never see that. This was a true story of courage.

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