Keri's story is so powerful, moving and unbelievable that I'm not exactly sure where to start but I guess I'll begin by saying I felt blessed to be able to work with her and help cover her story for a brand new series on the Discovery Television Network called "Dates From Hell."
Keri is a super, duper smart lady working a high-powered job at ESPN and her true story of how she fought off her attacker was selected to be the premier episode for Discovery ID - initially airing Wednesday July 11 at 10p Eastern (with a multitude of reruns to follow, so just tune in every Wednesday night:) You'll have to watch her 30-minute epsidode for the full report but in a nutshell, Keri traveled to Italy with a friend and on her last day there was introduced to a well-known local who happened to be an artist. What appeared to be a very innocent chat with the man ended up being the most horrific day of all as she ended up having to fight for her life, jump from a 6th floor patio (praying she'd land on the balcony below, which she miraculously did!), jump from rooftop to rooftop, convince a family to let her escape through their apartment and race back to her hotel!!
The most amazing part of Keri's story is that she not only fought back once, but twice because she was scheduled to fly home in just a couple of hours but decided to stay to file a police report and make sure her attacker didn't get away with anything. Keri hired a legal team in Italy, flew back in forth from the U.S. to Rome trying to ensure he'd be punished and after a year long investigation he was charged with sexual assault and assault and faced up to 12 years in jail. Ultimately, he plea-bargained, and on April 22, 2010, he received a suspended sentence of 11 months, 10 days, which means he didn't go to jail. However, he is on probation for the next five years, and if he commits another crime of any kind during that time, he will go straight to prison. He was also ordered to pay all of Keri's legal fees, which amounted to about $10,000.
To learn more about Keri and her fierce AWEsomeness and to support her cause, visit her blog or read her article in Marie Claire Magazine.
Here are the pics from our day together on set ::