Actress Sally Kellerman, known for role in "M.A.S.H.," shares stories from her career in her new memoir "Read My Lips."
Today, “Starting Point” looks back at a crime that gripped the nation 20 years ago. Nine-year-old Katie Beers was locked in a dungeon on Long Island and sexually abused by her kidnapper, neighbor John Esposito, in December of 1992. He made her stay there for 17 days, chained by the neck in a locked wooden box suspended above the ground. A television in the corner provided the only distraction and the only light. Her only meals were junk food. Her captor broke down and she was rescued.
Decades after her kidnapping, Beers is revealing her story in the new book, "Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story." It was co-written by WCBS News reporter Carolyn Gusoff, the local television reporter who covered her story. Now a 30-year-old married mother of two living in rural Pennsylvania, she talks with Soledad today on remarkable story of survival and strength.
Beers describes the life of abuse she led before her kidnapping. “My childhood consisted of enslavement by my godmother and my godmother's husband,” she says. “Not only that,” she continues, “but also sexual abuse by my godmother's husband, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse by both my godmother herself and her husband, and neglect by my mother.”
She says she didn’t realize how desperate her life was until after her abduction, though she feels her childhood prepared her for the horrors of her abduction. “My will to survive during the abduction came from the abuse that I sustained as a child.”
After her rescue, Beers lived with a foster family, who she says was “instrumental” to her recovery. She also accredits therapy greatly for helping her overcome her past. “I try not to think about it,” she says. “There's no point in thinking about the past. I've gone through therapy. I've said my piece. I've now written the book, and now I feel I can finally rebury everything. There's no point in opening up old scars.”
Award-winning journalist Lynn Povich is one of 46 women who organized and filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1970, citing discrimination against women in hiring and promotion. More than 30 years later, the first promoted female senior editor of Newsweek writes of the experience in her book, “The Good Girls Revolt.”
“We would actually go in to the ladies room. Look under the stalls, see who was there, and if no one else was there, we’d approach someone at the sink and say, ‘You know I have to check a story by this guy and it’s terrible, or I could do it better,’ and if they responded, we’d say, ‘We’re thinking of doing something to change this,’" Povich says of organizing women at Newsweek to file the complaint. "And then we would start reeling people in one by one.”
For Povich, there has been “enormous progress” for women seeking jobs in the media industry and in corporations since 1970. However, there are "still very few women at the top" in the media industry and in corporations, she says. In Newsweek, for example, only 43 of 49 cover stories published in 2009 were written by men.
“I do think that there's still an imbalance," Povich argues. "I think also that women need to push themselves more... It’s a question about how much is discrimination and how much do women still need to have the confidence to go forward, because they certainly have the skill and they certainly have the talent.”
Red Rooster chef/owner Marcus Samuelsson, also of "Top Chef Masters" fame, shares stories from his memoir "Yes, Chef".
She served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, then became the first female Secretary of State. Now, she can add Medal of Freedom recipient to that impressive resume.
The White House announced yesterday that Madeleine Albright will receive the nation's highest civilian honor. She also has a new book, called "Prague Winter: A personal story of remembrance and war, 1937-1948."
This morning on "Starting Point," Soledad asked Secretary Albright what it felt like to receive such a high honor.
"I am so honored to have gotten the Medal of Freedom," Albright says. "It makes me feel very proud to be an American, and that's the story that goes together."
Albright also explains how learning more about her family background and experiences helped shape her career.
"What it has done is kind of add a complexity and richness to what I know about myself and hope very much that the story that I tell will explain to people, not only the importance of knowing your roots, but also of understanding motivations, credibility, and the importance of being resilient," she adds.
See another clip from the interview here.
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