The 16-year-old kidnapping victim gave her first official interview since her Aug. 3 kidnapping on Aug. 22. In her revealing tell-all, Hannah broke down in tears talking about the loss of her mother and 8-year-old brother — and she set the record straight on her correspondence with her kidnapper.
Kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson gave an emotional interview with the Today show — her first official interview since being returned home to safety her father on Aug. 11. The girl was kidnapped by family friend James DiMaggio who later set fire to his home with the girl’s mother and 8-year-old brother inside. The teen spoke out about how she is coping with this harrowing ordeal, calling herself a “survivor” — not a victim.
Hannah Anderson Interview — Kidnapping Victim Is ‘A Survivor’
Hannah is beginning to change the way she sees her situation. “In the beginning, I was a victim. But now knowing everyone out there’s helping me, I consider myself a survivor instead,” the brave 16-year-old explained in her first official interview since her kidnapping. Hannah’s controversial decision to take to social media shortly after being rescued got a lot of backlash from concerned supporters, but it was all a part of her coping process, she explained:
I didn’t know people could be so cruel. I connect to friends through Facebook and Instagram. It helps me to grieve to post pictures and tell people how I am feeling. I’m a teenager, I’m gonna go on it.
Hannah also reveals that she is nervous about going back to school after this whole ordeal saying “It’s going be a little overwhelming returning to school with people and their opinion but I know a lot of my friends will have my back.”
Hannah Anderson Speaks Out About Correspondence With James Dimaggio
Hannah also used the interview opportunity to address concerns about her correspondence with her kidnapper and believed murderer of her family, James DiMaggio. The two reportedly exchanged 13 phone calls on the day of her kidnapping, but Hannah explained that they were really text messages meant to give the family friend details about picking her up at cheer camp.
Police also revealed that they found letters to Hannah written by James at the home. Hannah explained in her Today interview that these letters were from over a year ago when she reached out to the family friend when she needed advice about issues she was having with her mom at the time.
Hannah Anderson Reflects On The Loss Of Her Mom & Brother
The most emotional portion of Hannah’s interview came when she reflected back on her mother, Christina Anderson, and 8-year-old brother Ethan, both of whom were tragically killed by her kidnapper.
Little Ethan had “really good heart,” the teen explained, breaking into tears. Her mother is a also very missing support system at this difficult time because Hannah says “she knew how to handle things.”
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WATCH: Hannah Anderson Speaks Out On Kidnapping On Today Show
– Kristine Hope Kowalski