Lara Logan breaks silence on Cairo assault

CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan talks to Scott Pelley about sexual assault, her rescue and recovery

The night of Feb. 11, the Egyptian dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak was falling. More than 100,000 people filled Cairo's Tahrir Square in wild celebration. Among those in the crowd was our "60 Minutes" colleague, correspondent Lara Logan.

Lara, a native of South Africa, is an experienced war reporter, but Tahrir Square became her most hazardous assignment.

After the assault: Lara Logan comes home
The "60 Minutes" correspondent on her life since the attack, new fears as a reporter, and the people who helped restore her dignity.

During the revolution, dozens of reporters were assaulted, often by agents of the regime. On the night of the 11th, a mob turned on Lara and her "60 Minutes" team and singled her out in a violent sexual assault. Since then, Lara has been recuperating with her husband and two children.

Now, she is returning to work and she has decided to tell the story of what happened - just once - on "60 Minutes."

She's speaking out, she tells us, to add her voice to those who confront sexual violence; to break what she calls the "code of silence."

Lara arrived in Cairo at a moment of triumph for Egypt. She didn't imagine, in the hours before midnight, she would be fighting for her life.

Lara Logan: When we drove from the airport into Cairo that night, moments after Mubarak had stepped down, it was unbelievable. It was like unleashing a champagne cork on Egypt.

Logan: I'm anxious to get to the square. I've got to be there because this is a moment in history that you don't want to miss.

Scott Pelley: What does it look like?

Logan: It looks like a party.

Logan: It's a roar of sound because everyone is so excited and they are singing songs of the revolution and shouting slogans.

Logan: And everybody is, you know, very physical, so you are being jostled and pushed. And sometimes people get closer. And my guys are very protective of me, you know, they want to keep people at bay. It was impossible not to get caught up in the moment, which was real moment of celebration.

Pelley: Tell me about your team.

Logan: Our producer was Max McClellan. My cameraman was Richard Butler.

Logan: We had a local fixer Bahaa, whose job was to bridge the divide for us as foreigners.

Logan: We had two Egyptian drivers with us who were purely there to act as security and bodyguards. And then we had a security person, Ray, who's done security all over the world.

She reported, without a hint of trouble, for more than an hour.

Pelley: And what happened then?

Logan: Our camera battery went down. And we had to stop for a moment. And suddenly Bahaa looks at me and says, "We've gotta get out of here."

Pelley: He's Egyptian. He speaks Arabic. And he can hear what the crowd is saying?

Logan: Yes.

Pelley: He understands what no one else in the crew understands?

Logan: That's right. I was told later that they were saying "Let's take her pants off." And it's like suddenly, before I even know what's happening, I feel hands grabbing my breasts, grabbing my crotch, grabbing me from behind. I mean - and it's not one person and then it stops - it's like one person and another person and another person. And I know Ray is right there, and he's grabbing at me and screaming, "Lara hold onto me, hold onto me."

As she was pulled into the frenzy, the camera recorded Lara's shout: "Stop!"

Produced by Robert Anderson

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