The Dark Thoughts Jayson Blair Had on the Day He Resigned from The New York Times

Season 4 Episode 405
Aired on 08/17/2014 | CC
In 2003, The New York Times reported on one of the biggest scandals of the year—and it all unfolded in their own newsroom. Jayson Blair, a promising young reporter, plagiarized and lied in dozens of stories he wrote for the prestigious newspaper. He wrote about locations he never visited, quoted conversations that never took place, and fabricated events. Jayson's actions were exposed after staff at the San Antonio Express-News discovered he had plagiarized one of their articles. "When I first was called on it, my initial reaction was to try and defend myself. You know, at the same time, I wanted ... the sense of relief, and I wanted it to be over," Jayson says. "And then, I just hit a point where, for the first time in my life, I'm thinking about ways to kill myself."

The day he resigned, Jayson says, concerned staff members tracked him down to make sure he was all right. "I left the building for the last time, and I don't even know where I went afterwards," he says. "But I do know that the newsroom sent every person who knew me out on the streets like they were reporting a story to try and figure out where I was."

The day following his resignation, Jayson was hospitalized and eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Today, Jayson is the founder of a practice specializing in life, career and mental health coaching. Watch as he reflects on that painful period of his life and the surprising people who supported him.

More from this episode

More from Oprah: Where Are They Now?