Oprah Talks to Mariane Pearl
Oprah: Let's talk about January 23, the day Danny disappeared. Weren't you planning a little party for that evening?
Mariane: Right. For our Pakistani friends, I was trying to make the one Cuban dish I can cook.
Oprah: What fascinates me about disaster is just how ordinary the day can begin. That morning, as you describe beautifully in the book, Danny came out of the bathroom, got under the sheets with you, and rubbed your belly and talked to Adam.
Mariane: When we were in difficult circumstances, we tended to be very playful so we would preserve our relationship. The war was right there, but we were building a little family. We were staying in Karachi with one of Danny's longtime friends, Asra Nomani, so we had this feeling of just being happy to be together.
Oprah: Did you feel fear every time either of you left the house?
Mariane: In that part of the world, you hear things like "We hate America" all the time. You get used to it, and you don't necessarily take it seriously. So the danger is difficult to assess because it's a constant thing. We didn't know how much Al Qaeda was in Karachi.
Oprah: You've written that you usually accompanied him on assignments, but that day you were going to interview someone else.
Mariane: Yes. And I wasn't feeling well because of the pregnancy, and I knew Danny's would be a difficult interview. I didn't feel like hearing "America is going to be destroyed."
Oprah: Who was Danny going to interview?
Mariane: Sheik [Mubarak Ali Shah] Gilani, who he thought was a mentor to Richard Reid, the shoe bomber.
Oprah: Wasn't Danny's security guy late that day?
Mariane: Yes. The "fixer" is the guy who's supposed to make sure the appointment happens, and he's also a security person. When he showed up, he said he'd gotten lost, which was bizarre.
Mariane: A bit. Because he lives in Karachi, and he's a journalist. I didn't think he got lost. He probably lied. That tells you he's not a good fixer, that you can't trust him. But you still won't go out without a fixer, right?
Oprah: Right. So he and Danny go out, and they come back at about 4 in the afternoon. Then Asra calls for a car service to get Danny to the Gilani interview. But there are no cars available. Is that normal?
Mariane: First time that ever happened. Danny was nervous because it was a big interview and he didn't want to be late—and he had a few appointments before. He said, "Should we just take a taxi?" I said, "Okay, let's take a taxi." I had an interview of my own, so we parted and got in different cars.