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Elizabeth Smart says she’s opened up about her story with her children

Elizabeth Smart recently appeared on ‘The Masked Dancer.’ She says she’s been opening up about her story to her children

Elizabeth Smart recently appeared on ‘The Masked Dancer.’ She says she’s been opening up about her story to her children
Elizabeth Smart recently appeared on ‘The Masked Dancer.’ She says she’s been opening up about her story to her children
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Elizabeth Smart has been opening up about her abduction and kidnapping with her children, she recently told E! News in a new interview.

She said she’s recently shared details with her 5-year-old daughter Chloe.

  • “Even now, she has begun to sort of ask questions,” Smart said, according to E! News. “Occasionally, I’m doing a presentation or I’m on a Zoom call, and she doesn’t understand. So she asked me, ‘Why?’ And as her questions come up, that is how I gauge how much to tell my daughter.”
  • “With all my children, really, I certainly never want to hide what happened in the past, because every single one of us has a past. Every single one of us has had something happen in our lives. It’s unrealistic to think that we will all just have a perfect life. We will all face hardships and struggles, in whatever form that may be, and so I have begun to speak to her as she asked questions. But with that being said, it’s not all at once. And it’s age-appropriate, to the best of my ability.”

Context

Elizabeth Smart made headlines back in 2002 when she was kidnapped from her Utah home when she was 14 years old. She was found alive nine months later with Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, both of whom were taken into custody. She was then reunited with her family. (Wanda Barzee was later released from prison; Mitchell is still serving a life sentence).

Smart now runs a foundation to help victims of sexual abuse.

‘Masked Dancer’

“The Masked Dancer” revealed Smart as one of the show’s dancers earlier this week, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. She appeared as the Moth after she failed to defeat her opponents in the dancing rounds.

Smart said she joined the show to have fun.

  • “My grandma actually passed away very recently, but she was so much fun. She never let a moment pass her by. And so, when this opportunity came along, I thought, ‘I live a pretty serious life, and I’m going to take this opportunity and just have fun,’” Smart said.
  • “It was probably the most terrifying thing that I’ve ever voluntarily done,” Smart said. “But it was a lot of fun. I mean, how often does a person get to say that they have a whole team of people working out with them every single day, like five people working there to help make you be the best you can be.”