Lara Logan on Tahrir Square Attack: ‘They Raped Me With Their Hands’

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - NOVEMBER 17: Journalist Lara Logan of CBS News questions U.S. Soldiers in Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq November 17, 2006. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images) Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Lara Logan has given her first interview since her brutal sexual assault in Cairo's Tahrir Square back in February, when she was covering the tumultuous regime change that emanated in part from that center of protest. From the Times:

She was ripped away from her producer and bodyguard by a group of men who tore at her clothes and groped and beat her body. “For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands,” Ms. Logan said in an interview with The New York Times. She estimated that the attack lasted for about 40 minutes and involved 200 to 300 men.

"My clothes were torn to pieces," she told Brian Stelter.

At first, she said, the crowd was welcoming to her, asking for pictures with her, a rare American journalist on the ground. (Few other on-camera personnel were in the actual square — many, including Al Jazeera, reported from a safe distance.) Then, Logan said, "there was a moment that everything went wrong."

As the cameraman, Richard Butler, was swapping out a battery, Egyptian colleagues who were accompanying the camera crew heard men nearby talking about wanting to take Ms. Logan’s pants off. She said: “Our local people with us said, ‘We’ve gotta get out of here.’ That was literally the moment the mob set on me.” Mr. Butler, Ms. Logan’s producer, Max McClellan, and two locally hired drivers were “helpless,” Mr. Fager said, “because the mob was just so powerful.” A bodyguard who had been hired to accompany the team was able to stay with Ms. Logan for a brief period of time. “For Max,” the producer, “to see the bodyguard come out of the pile without her, that was one of the worst parts,” Mr. Fager said. He said Ms. Logan “described how her hand was sore for days after — and the she realized it was from holding on so tight” to the bodyguard’s hand.

Logan is expected to tell her story in more detail on 60 Minutes this Sunday, but the Times story is worth a read — it's very scary. "What really struck me was how merciless they were," Logan said. "They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence."

CBS Reporter Talks About Her Assault in Egypt [NYT]