Four years after she was sexually assaulted by Stanford University student Brock Turner, 27-year-old Chanel Miller, who was previously known as “Emily Doe,” is speaking up about the attack. Ahead of the September 24 release of her memoir, Know My Name, Miller was interviewed by 60 Minutes about the night of the assault, and the emotional trauma she endured as the case received international attention.
In the interview, Miller opened up about the terrible way she found out what happened to her the night of her assault: through an article that popped up in her newsfeed online. “I was alone, sitting at my desk, surrounded by co-workers, reading about how I was stripped and then penetrated and discarded in a bed of pine needles behind a dumpster,” she said. “And that’s how I figured out all of those elements. And they all added up. And I finally understood.”
Miller also talked about the media’s focus on Turner as a star of the university’s swim team:
“I didn’t understand why it was relevant when you’re also reporting that my lower half was completely exposed. That my necklace was wrapped around my neck. That my hair was disheveled. That my bra was only covering one breast and the rest was pulled outta my dress. I don’t understand why it is relevant how quickly he can move across a body of water in the context of that article.”
Miller, who had wanted to be a children’s author, also talked about the impact she felt her assault would have on her career. “I felt no parent is going to want me as a role model, if I’m just the discarded, drunk, half-naked body behind a dumpster. Nobody wants to be that,” she said.
At the hearing in 2016, Turner was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, but ended up walking away with a six-month sentence in county jail, of which he only served three. A positive thing to come out of the trial was the powerful victim-impact statement Miller was asked to read. Afterward, BuzzFeed published the statement and it quickly went viral, hitting 11 million views in just a few days. Sexual-assault survivors began to reach out to Miller, which she says was therapeutic on both sides. “It was really like medicine. Reading these was like feeling the shame dissolve, you know bringing all the light in,” she said.