Jaycee Dugard: I Can Finally Say My Name

Kidnap victim deals frankly with ordeal in new memoir
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 11:39 AM CDT

After 18 years in Phillip Garrido's backyard hell, one might expect Jaycee Dugard to be joyless and withdrawn. But Diane Sawyer instead encounters a fiercely devoted 31-year-old mother, a rape survivor who confronts her ordeal unflinchingly, and a vibrant woman savoring each tiny freedom in her new life—like being to say her own name aloud, something Garrido had prohibited her from doing. Dugard gives her first television interview, airing this Sunday on ABC, ahead of the release of her candid memoir, A Stolen Life.

"I can walk in the next room and see my mom," Dugard says. "Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow, it's unbelievable, truly." Dugard now wears a pendant of a pinecone, which "was the last thing I touched [before she was kidnapped]. You know, the last grip on me. Now, it's—it's a symbol of hope and new beginnings. And that—there is life after something tragic," she says. (Read more Jaycee Lee Dugard stories.)

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