Blind Chinese activist and new NYU student Chen Guangcheng gave his first in-depth TV interview since arriving in the U.S. to Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. Guangcheng arrived in the city about a week ago, when the U.S. and China finally brokered a deal following protracted diplomacy talks. Cooper asked Guangcheng about his brutal house arrest in China, to which Guangcheng replied, “When we talk about my situation let’s not talk about house arrest but illegal detention.” He continued, “It’s hard for me to describe what it was like at the time, but my suffering was beyond imagination. I didn’t see much hope.”
It’s unclear if Guangcheng, his wife, and their two children will be able to return to China after he completes his one year of legal studies. But he has family members in danger back home. Retribution against his family has continued and intensified, Guangcheng said. Cooper’s interview also includes footage of Christian Bale’s thwarted attempt to visit Guangcheng in China, which probably would have turned out differently had he worn his Batman gear.