Oprah Talks to Mariane Pearl
Oprah: So you come home after your interview and you're preparing the one Cuban dish you know how to prepare. When do you first start to worry about Danny?
Mariane: Quickly. I was uncomfortable because all of a sudden it occurred to me that I didn't really even know where he was going—where exactly his meeting was. Whenever we're in a situation that's a bit difficult, we call each other every half hour. So I call and his cell phone is off. This is around 7:30.
Oprah: What time is your dinner party?
Mariane: Guests start coming at 8. I'd told him we'd wait for him to have dinner. At 9:30, he's still not there, and I have all these people in the house, and I'm getting very nervous. The Pakistani friends of our friend Asra are a very elite group of kids. Basically, they're spoiled brats. They have hashish all the time. They're on a completely different planet. So I'm giving them their food, but it's like "Eat it and get out," because I was so upset about what might be happening with Danny.
Oprah: In the meantime, are you still trying to call him on the cell?
Mariane: All the time, like every ten minutes.
Oprah: When did you move from nervousness to thinking, "Something is really wrong here"?
Mariane: Almost immediately. Danny not calling? That never, never, never happened. But then I tried to calm down, because if something was wrong, I needed to stay strong, right? So I had everybody get out of the house. Then Asra made the decision to start calling for help at around 12:30.
Oprah: Who did you call?
Mariane: The first person I called was John Bussey, Danny's boss at The Wall Street Journal. I said, "Danny's not back."
Oprah: Did your mind race to the worst possible scenario?
Mariane: No. I didn't think he was dead. I thought they kidnapped him for money. But I didn't think they'd harm him, because he was such a valuable hostage. Asra and I knew we were in a very difficult situation. We didn't even know if calling the Pakistani police was a good thing. Who could we trust? The reputation of the police is pretty bad over there, so do we call them? And at what point? How do we get help? We realized we needed to be in control of whatever happened.
Oprah: How long before you got word that he had indeed been kidnapped?
Mariane: It took three entire days.
Oprah: So you heard absolutely nothing for three days?
Mariane: Nothing. There were cops all over the house because we had to go ahead and call the police. They had their own understanding of the situation—everybody thought it was a jihad thing. I thought right away that it had to do with Al Qaeda. But no one thought he might be dead. The people who were sent to our house were antiterrorism police and intelligence agents.