Jaycee Dugard Interview: Flourishing After 18 Year Long Kidnapping

PHOTO: ABC News Diane Sawyer sits down for an exclusive interview with Jaycee Dugard Sunday night, July 10th on ABC.
Share
Copy

Jaycee Dugard has powerful memories from the last 20 years, 18 of them spent as a prisoner of kidnappers Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

Yet, some of the most overwhelming memories come from her first two years of freedom which she and her children have spent reunited with her mother.

"Wow. Now I can walk in the next room and see my mom. Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow. It's unbelievable. Truly," Dugard said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

Dugard was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido when she was just 11 years old in 1991 and held captive in a backyard compound.

She was subjected to rape, manipulation and verbal abuse. She gave birth to two daughters fathered by her abductor in that backyard prison.

Dugard lived in virtual solitary confinement until her first daughter was born three years into captivity and wasn't allowed to spend time outdoors until after her second daughter was born, more than six years after her abduction.

She writes that the closest thing to freedom she ever felt in the compound was when she was allowed to live in her own tent and plant a small garden.

Now, Dugard is telling all in a new memoir, "A Stolen Life," and in her exclusive interview with Sawyer.

She's taking an unflinching look at the horror she's overcome and giving an unsparing account of the way a predator operates and how she survived.

"Why not look at it? You know, stare it down until it can't scare you anymore," she told Sawyer. "I didn't want there to be any more secrets…I hadn't done anything wrong. It wasn't something I did that caused this to happen. And I feel that by putting it all out there, it's very freeing," Dugard said.

Dugard, 31, remembers the first night after she and her daughters were rescued in 2009.

They spent the night in a motel room just down the hall from Dugard's mother, Terry Probyn.

Both Probyn and Dugard had held out hope throughout their nearly two decade separation that they'd find one another.

They had no idea that they'd been only 120 miles from one another the whole time.

"That night, I woke the girls [my daughters] up and I just said, "I'm so happy. I'm so happy!" Dugard said. "I ran down the hall…the girls are following me and knocking on the door…I walked in, 'I'm so happy! I'm so happy!"

Click Here to Watch the Full Episode of Diane Sawyer's Exclusive Interview with Jaycee Dugard

Simple firsts have brought healing to Dugard and her family: learning how to drive from the sister who was just a baby when Dugard was kidnapped, eating family dinners around a table instead of the fast food that Phillip Garrido fed her for 18 years, and even just saying her name which was forbidden by her captors.

Still, the sounds of her imprisonment haunt her.

"That lock. Hearing the lock...for some reason that and the bed squeal. It was a squeaky bed…I guess the noise, the sound. Weird what sticks in your head," Dugard said.

Dugard remembers trying not to cry when she was first abducted because it was too hard to wipe tears away with her hands cuffed behind her back.

"I didn't really want to, because then you can't wipe them away, you know? Then you get all sticky and …then they get itchy," Dugard said.

She says she had no choice but to endure.

"There's a switch that I had to shut off," she said. "I mean, I can't imagine being beaten to death, you know? And you can't imagine being kidnapped and raped, you know? So, it's just, you just do what you have to do to survive."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Debra Messing, left, attending the premiere of Smash in New York City on Jan. 26, 2012 and right, attending the Broadway opening of Outside Mullingar on Jan. 23, 2014 in New York.
Jim Spellman/Getty Images | Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
Baby Lemur Relaxes on Mom
Jens Meyer/AP Photo
PHOTO: Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols watches the ball after connecting for his 500th career home run,April 22, 2014.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
PHOTO: Online services such as AllPaws.com help match people with the perfect pet.
Courtesy Darrell Lerner/AllPaws.com