Lara Logan Opens Up About Tahrir Sq. Sexual Assault: Valium and Red Wine Enable More Dangerous Foreign Reporting

News correspondent Lara Logan of ’60 Minutes Sports’ speaks onstage during the Showtime portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 12, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo: Getty Images)

Those who followed the “Arab Spring” revolts in Egypt in early 2011 undoubtedly remember CBS correspondent Lara Logan and the horrifying gang rape she suffered in the middle of Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Nearly two years later, still working as a foreign correspondent with CBS, Logan has revealed how she tackled the trauma head-on after the attack, and how she now prepares herself before being sent on similarly dangerous assignments.

Deadline Hollywood caught up with Logan after a panel at the Television Critic’s Association convention Saturday:

When Deadline asked if the emotional trauma remained with her, she replied, “I think anything that happens to you on this scale stays with you forever.”  Logan continued, “Am I traumatized?  Do I have bad dreams?  No.  And after it happened, when I got back from Egypt, I was honestly almost elated because I was so close to death and coming to terms with being gone.”

The gravity of that event contrasted today with Logan’s vibrant, vivacious demeanor and striking appearance, which belied feelings that seem to reside just below the [surface.] “I was dying in that square,” she recalled, “and I never thought I would see my children again.  After I got home, for weeks I couldn’t believe I was alive.”

That she was able to muster the character, strength and survival skills to get through such an unfathomable physical and psychological ordeal seems still to surprise Logan. “You don’t realize until it happens to you that you have a choice not to fall apart,” she said. “I said, I have too much to live for.” Logan’s strength led her to approve a statement shortly after the attack that detailed how she was beaten and sexually assaulted and didn’t try to sweep the details under the carpet. She credited CBS News and president Jeff Fager for having the courage at the time “to decide not to lie about this. We weren’t going to lie about this.” [Emphasis added]

Lara Logan Opens Up About Tahrir Sq. Sexual Assault: Valium and Red Wine Enable More Dangerous Foreign Reporting

In this Feb. 11, 2011 photo released by CBS, “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan is shown leaving Cairo’s Tahrir Square the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. (Photo: AP)

This isn’t the first time Logan has opened up about the attack, but the passage of time now allows her to discuss how she conquered the ordeal, rather than the trauma itself.

In a gut-wrenching CBS interview in May of 2011, Logan recalled how the mob — estimated at between 200 and 300 people– was “tearing” her body in “every direction” and beating her with flagpoles and sticks while raping her.

Shouting for help did nothing, she said, because her screams “turned them into a frenzy.”

Unbelievably, Logan still travels into dangerous, war-torn areas regularly. Deadline Hollywood has more on how Logan says she prepares:

“I honestly don’t think I could do it without Valium and red wine, I swear to God,” she admitted. “I just tank up the day before and I’m out the door. I couldn’t do it otherwise. I know it sounds weak. It’s the hardest thing, but I do it for reasons I truly believe in.”

The Star adds that Logan still worries about her family while traveling abroad, though.

“I wrote a book for them. I tell them why I went to certain places. If I don’t make it back I want them to understand,” she is quoted as saying.

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