In her very first television interview, Jaycee Dugard told Diane Sawyer she felt she needed to speak out about the nearly two decades she spent as a captive of sex offender Phillip Garrido. Over 15 million viewers tuned into the Primetime interview to see Jaycee Lee Dugard talk with Diane Sawyer about her life as a hostage to Garrido and his wife.
“I didn’t want there to be any more secrets,” Jaycee Dugard told Diane Sawyer of ABC News. “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.”
At the height of the interview, nearly 15.7 million viewers had tuned in to the special Primetimetwo-hour special to hear Dugard’s story.
Jaycee Dugard said she had to face what had happened to her head on to deal with it. “Why not look at it?” Dugard told Diane Sawywer in the interview. “You know, stare it down until it can’t scare you any more.”
Dugard told Sawyer she was only 14-years-old when she gave birth to her first daughter, fathered by her rapist and abuser, Phillip Garrido. “It was very painful,” Dugard said through tears. “She came out and then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone any more. I had somebody who was mine.”
To survive the rape, torture and horrible conditions, Dugard said “there’s a switch that I had to shut off.” She told Diane Sawyer, “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.”
Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped by Nancy and Phillip Garrido in 1991 when she was only 11. Jaycee Dugard’s personal memoir about her life in captivity, A Stolen Life, will be released on Tuesday.