- - Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jaycee Dugard interview to air on ABC’s ‘Primetime’

Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard has opened up about being held in captivity for 18 years in her first interview since escaping from Phillip and Nancy Garrido two years ago, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Ms. Dugard, who sat down for an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that will air Sunday, was kidnapped by the Garridos while walking to school in 1991 at age 11. Phillip Garrido used a stun gun to shock her.

When she was taken, she reveals, she was thinking about her mother, who was running late and didn’t have a chance to kiss her daughter goodbye that day.

While in captivity, she was handcuffed and raped and gave birth to two girls. She also was forbidden to speak or write her own name and was forced to live in a backyard compound. Ms. Dugard, 31, told Ms. Sawyer that the sound of the compound doors being locked still haunts her.

While being held captive, Ms. Dugard said, she constantly thought of her mother. Now, she added, she doesn’t take anything for granted and still marvels at the freedom she has.

“I can walk in the next room and see my mom,” Ms. Dugard said. “Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow, it’s unbelievable, truly.”

Her mother, Terry Probyn, told ABC News that she never gave up hope.

“I knew she was out there somewhere. … I held on to her and didn’t let go. I couldn’t let go,” she said. “And my heart got ripped out and that huge hole couldn’t be filled by anyone but her. I just hung on.”

Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years in prison last month; Nancy Garrido is serving 36 years to life.

The interview will air in a special two-hour edition of “Primetime” at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Tony Awards lawsuit to be heard in New York

Bret Michaels’ lawsuit over an accident at the 2009 Tony Awards that the singer claims nearly killed him should be heard in New York where the accident happened, a federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled.

It makes more sense for the case — which stems from Mr. Michaels being hit in the head by a set piece after performing at Radio City Music Hall — to be handled by a federal court in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee wrote in a ruling Tuesday.

The Poison frontman sued CBS Broadcasting and Tony organizers in March in Los Angeles, claiming the accident contributed to a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him. His attorneys argued that the case should be heard on the West Coast because Mr. Michaels lives in Los Angeles and Arizona, as do some witnesses, including his manager and other workers.

Judge Gee agreed with attorneys for Tony Awards Productions that much of the potential evidence and the vast majority of witnesses — including actors and production workers on the awards show — are in New York.

Mr. Michaels’ attorney Alex Weingarten said the ruling doesn’t impact the singer’s case. “The damages are the same in New York or California,” he said.

Casey Anthony verdict gives HLN record ratings

The HLN network reached its biggest audience ever when the verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial was announced.

The Nielsen Co. said 4.58 million people were watching HLN between 2 and 3 p.m. Tuesday. That was the largest audience HLN has gathered since it began in 1982 as CNN Headline News.

In prime time, the network had an average of 2.12 million people, its biggest audience since Sept. 11, 2001. Nielsen said Wednesday that Nancy Grace’s prime-time show reached 2.9 million people, its largest audience ever.

Spitzer’s ‘In the Arena’ is canceled at CNN

Eliot Spitzer was bounced from CNN’s prime-time lineup Wednesday, having spent less time as a TV host than he did as New York governor.

CNN reshuffled its schedule to add a program by former CNBC personality Erin Burnett, move Anderson Cooper’s flagship newscast into the tough 8 p.m. time slot and eliminate Mr. Spitzer’s “In the Arena” program.

Mr. Spitzer signed off his show Wednesday, saying it would be his last. He ended with a quotation from Theodore Roosevelt praising people who get “in the arena” to try to improve society, a passage he said inspired the name for his show. CNN talked to Mr. Spitzer about staying with the network as a commentator, but he decided not to.

“We engaged serious people in conversations about national and global issues in a way that was informative and challenging,” Mr. Spitzer said. “I believe that we provided diverse and valuable perspectives during the show’s tenure. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CNN.”

Mr. Spitzer, who resigned in March 2008, 14 months into his term as New York governor amid a prostitution scandal, began his nightly show on CNN in October. At first, he was paired on “Parker/Spitzer” with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who left in February. The show was renamed “In the Arena” with Mr. Spitzer as the lead personality.

c Compiled from Web and wire reports

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