Transcript for Donna Rice Hughes speaks out about alleged affair 30 years later
A lot of people do. Thank you. Now to Donna rice, the center of the scandal that ended Gary hart's run for president in 1987 all captured in "The front runner" starring Hugh Jackman. Amy robach sat down with Donna and joins us from Denver. Good morning, Amy. Reporter: That's right, good morning, George. I sat down with Donna for her first interview since the release of the movie. She says for more than 30 years she has been misunderstood and you'll remember neither she nor senator Gary hart have ever fully admitted to having a physical relationship, an affair and now she says after all this time she is ready to tell her side of the story. It was the bombshell alleged affair that derailed the 1987 presidential campaign of a democratic front-runner. Was your relationship misunderstood? It has been, yes. Yes. For all these years, there's been a lot of misunderstandings about that and I've never spoken about it. Reporter: The rumored relationship between married Gary hart and 20-year-old model Donna rice ending hart's white house run less than a week after the story broke. Hart will announce his withdrawal within the next 24 hours. Reporter: In the 31 years since, rice has remained largely quiet about the scandal, speaking out only a few times and never revealing much about the relationship she says turned her world upside down. At the time when you entered your relationship with him, did you know he was married? I did not, no. Huh-uh. He wasn't running for president. Well, maybe he -- but he hadn't announced so I didn't know. I was apolitical. And did you only find out when the scandal broke? No, I did find out before that, yeah. Yeah, I found out. How did you feel about that? Shocked. Reporter: The media attention on the alleged affair at the time unprecedented. How do you describe the media frenzy in your life? I couldn't even get back into my apartment. There were high speed car chases. People on my floor where I was living were renting out their condos for $2,000 a day to mainstream media outlets, helicopters flying around with, you know, zoom in lenses and that -- that was my life for quite a while. And you were given some very lucrative opportunities. Yes, I chose silence and chose the high road. It was hard. Should I sacrifice nye privacy? Reporter: Now a new movie, "The front runner" starring Hugh Jackman shining new attention on the tawdry tale. You think I'm some stupid bimbo. I heard you found out about the film with a Google alert. I did, yes. I can't imagine your reaction. I panicked. I did. I admit it and I thought, I thought it was healed up from this. So there's more work and healing comes in layers. Reporter: Rice says she spent years working hard to move on from that life-changing moment in time. What did the media get wrong? Oh, my goodness. Just about everything. Well, remember I wasn't saying anything. I wasn't talking. I was silent and so it's really easy for a false narrative to emerge. They found all these old bathing suit pictures of me and that fit the image that had been created. The other woman. The mistress. The temptress, the bimbo, all this. Has senator hart ever apologized to you? He reached out during the clinton/lewinsky story. He called you? He did. And apologized and I told him I had forgiven him a long time ago. Reporter: She has dedicated her life to protecting others through her nonprofit enough is enough. It is an organization that is dedicated to make the internet safer for families and children and rice is hoping through her story she can help encourage others who have hit rock bottom, her message is there is a way out and it is to take the high road, George. Okay, Amy, thanks very much. Quite a compelling movie. It was really good. Hugh Jackman, great portrayal and in the movie, Donna rice is -- you're kind of -- you're sympathetic toward her the way the movie is played out at least. Yeah.
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