Last month, Chanel Miller, the woman who was known as Emily Doe during the Stanford University rape case, revealed her identity. She decided to do so three years after Brock Turner was convicted of three felonies for sexually assaulting her but was only sentenced to six months in jail. (He ended up serving half of that.) Now, ahead of her book release, Chanel opened up to 60 Minutes and People magazine about the assault, the trial, and her reaction to Brock’s lenient jail sentence.
First, Chanel explained to 60 Minutes that she came forward because her story remained largely untold and she didn’t want to be reduced to an “unconscious, intoxicated woman” while he was painted as a star athlete “with so much at stake,” as she stated anonymously during the trial.
While talking about the trial, Chanel said the questioning was so brutal that she actually welcomed the moments when she “sobbed” on the stand because that meant the court would finally give her a break.
Choking up, she said:
“Instead of investigating the crime that’s at hand, we interrogate the victim and go after her character and pick her apart and openly defile and debase her. And you just have to sit on the stand while this is happening…Nobody is handing you a tissue. Nobody is standing up for you. You’re just getting ripped apart. And if I cried hard enough, then I got to be excused to the bathroom, which was my favorite because then I finally get a break and I can breathe for one second. But then you go back in and it just continues.”
She also feels that the trial wasn’t about the truth and that she was being “interrogated about meaningless facts” when there was “explicit evidence” regarding the assault.
In a separate interview with People magazine, Chanel said that she’s forgiven Brock because “there’s no room in your heart for hate” but that doesn’t mean she excused him for assaulting her. She explained, “I think you can forgive someone without pardoning them, if that makes sense. I think forgiveness may just be putting it to rest.”
She also said that while she’s been waiting for an apology from the judge and Brock, she hasn’t received one and thinks Brock is using alcohol as an excuse. “I was very ready to receive an apology from the very beginning,” she added. “I’m always going to advocate for acknowledging behavior and figuring out how to change and grow from that, but you can’t do that without acknowledging what happened.”
But in an effort to move on, she encourages them to “grow” from this and “reform themselves,” but she’s ultimately focused her own growth and thinking about how she can help other people.