When a mob of protesters raped and beat CBS News correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo's Tahrir Square, she thought she would die "a torturous death that's going to go on forever and ever and ever." The assault lasted some 25 minutes and stopped when a group of local women "closed ranks" around Logan and protected her from her tormentors. Logan revealed these and more intensely personal details when she spoke publicly about the assault for the first time on 60 Minutes last night.
The report included footage of the moments before the assault, when the camera recorded Logan's cry for help. She described the growing frenzy as the crowd closed in. "The more I screamed, it turned them into a frenzy." She broke into tears briefly as she described losing contact with her security guard, Ray, but regained her composure when she described the assault and the rape:
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.
Logan said she succumbed to the brutal assault so that she could survive it and see her two children once more. Eventually, Logan said, the crowd that dragged her along was stopped by a fence where a group of Egyptian women were camped out.
Now it wasn't just about me anymore. It was about their women and that was what saved me, I think. The women kind of closed ranks around me. And I remember one or two, maybe three men standing with them and throwing, the women were throwing water in the crowd. And they were pouring water over me, 'cause I couldn't breathe.
That's when a group of Egyptian soldiers fought their way through the crowd to Logan. She climbed onto one of their backs -- "I was not letting go" -- and he carried her out to their tank, and then to safety.
Logan has said the interview, in which she talked with Scott Pelley for about 13 minutes, would be the only one she would do on the topic of the assault. "I don’t want this to define me," she told the New York Times last week. Hours after 60 Minutes aired, Logan anchored CBS News's coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden, a piece of journalism characterized by what LA Weekly media writer Simone Wilson called her "air of aggressive fascination." Here's the 60 Minutes segment, followed by a clip of Logan's CBS News reporting from Sunday night, below.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.