Oprah Talks to Mariane Pearl
Oprah: Did it take your breath away?
Mariane: Fortunately, I had a very, very good relationship with two Pakistani investigators, and they explained, "Okay, this is why they put the photo with the gun first, so that you'll be shocked." But of course, it's scary. I knew he was either going to die or not. And I thought, "If he's going to die, we're just going to say, 'Fuck you.' I wasn't panicked." It's difficult to explain to you, but it was the kind of situation that's so extreme, you don't think, "Oh my God—am I going to be alone?" You're just fighting.
Oprah: So you're not even thinking about yourself or your unborn child.
Mariane: Not at all—not until the moment I knew Danny was dead. Once the video [of his execution] came out and I was told everything, it took me two days to realize I was alone. I was so much with him the whole time that I didn't even think once of me alone. It was like we were together.
Oprah: My friends and I would watch the news and say prayers and be hoping, hoping, hoping for the best. So many people believed Danny would be okay. He was a journalist for The Wall Street Journal—why would they kill him? Did you believe he was going to be freed?
Mariane: I put myself in this place: "Whether you die or live, we're going to be together. Whatever happens, I'm with you."
Oprah: So you weren't in the "Please, please, please let him live" place?
Mariane: No. I did everything to keep my strength together, and if I was not afraid of his dying, then I would be stronger.
Oprah: I've got that.
Mariane: It took me a long time to realize that I was alive and he was dead. Before he died, that scenario didn't cross my mind.
Oprah: Tell us how you heard about his death. Because before then, you're saying you weren't living in a hopeful place.
Mariane: It was hopeful because I got very strong. There was a team of people in the house, and the relationships became amazing. There's so much goodness. Danny's editor, John Bussey, came to Karachi, and his colleague Steve LeVine was there, and Asra, and the police. They just agreed completely to work with us. The police did the raids to look for Danny, and though they didn't take us with them, we were the brains. They analyzed Danny's phone logs looking for clues. It was like a factory. It was so efficient, so strong, that we did have a lot of hope, actually. We thought we were going to win. But that's a completely personal thing. I guess everybody else was thinking, "Is he going to make it?" I thought, "I'm not going to lose energy thinking about whether he's going to live or die." But that doesn't mean you're not hopeful—it means you're more hopeful because they're not leading the game. You're taking away the weapons they're using to try and terrify you.