CBS correspondent Lara Logan felt sure she would die while being sexually assaulted by a mob when covering the jubilation in Cairo’s Tahrir Square after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, she says in an interview to be broadcast.
“There was no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying,” she says in a transcript released by CBS’ “60 Minutes” program. “I thought not only am I going to die, but it’s going to be just a torturous death that’s going to go on forever.”
Logan, a 39-year-old South Africa native and longtime war correspondent, was flown back to the United States and hospitalized for four days. She was covering the celebrations for “60 Minutes” on February 11 when she and her team were surrounded by a mob of hundreds whipped into a frenzy, Reuters reports.
Logan lost contact with her colleagues for about 25 minutes and endured a sexual assault and beating that she feared she would not survive, she said in the interview.
She said thoughts of her two young children helped her get through the attack, which ended when she was rescued by a group of Egyptian women and soldiers who drove her to her hotel.
Logan said when she eventually saw her kids, “I felt like I had been given a second chance that I didn’t deserve … because I did that to them. I came so close to leaving them, to abandoning them.”
Logan, who returned to work this week, said she chose to speak out about her ordeal to give courage to other women who have suffered sexual assault, especially female reporters who fear such admissions may impact their work.
Logan made her name as a war correspondent for Britain’s GMTV during the start of the U.S.-led Afghanistan war in 2001 and subsequently reported on the war in Iraq and its violent aftermath. She joined CBS News in 2002.