Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped at age 11 and imprisoned and raped for over 18 years before being reunited with her family. Her story is something out of a horror movie, so it’s no wonder that she hasn’t chosen to speak publicly about her trials until now, nearly two years after her August 2009 escape.
In an exclusive interview airing Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC, Diane Sawyer asks Dugard about her experience giving birth in the backyard of her kidnappers, Phillip Craig Garrido and Nancy Garrido. Dugard delivered her daughter alone, outdoors, at just 14 years old.
“Yep, I did,” she says. “Very painful, but then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. I had somebody that was mine. I wasn’t alone. I knew I could never let anything happen to her. I didn’t know how I was going to do that, but I did.”
Dugard says that people can’t imagine how she endured, but that her survival instincts kicked in. “I can’t imagine being beaten to death,” she explains, “and you can’t imagine being kidnapped and raped. You just do what you have to do to survive.”
Sawyer also talks with Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn, who remembers her last morning with her 11-year-old daughter in detail. “I had been late to work three monday mornings in a row and I was focused on myself, trying to get myself out that door so I wouldn’t be late for work,” she says. “And I chose not to go in and kiss my girls goodbye that morning. I wanted to be on time. For 18 years I kicked myself for not kissing that baby goodbye.”
Dugard tries to comfort her mom. “How could you have known, though? You can’t beat yourself up about that.”
“No, but it’s a good lesson. Take a minute for your kids. Do that extra thing, maybe an inconvenience to you but it’s important to them.”