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Elizabeth Smart Speaks with Oprah

Elizabeth Smart Speaks with Oprah

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Seven months after returning home from her high-profile abduction, Elizabeth Smart said her school life is normal and she's ready for her driver's license.

The 15-year-old and her family talked to Oprah Winfrey at their Salt Lake City home in a taped interview for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which aired Monday.

Ed and Lois Smart described Elizabeth's abduction and detailed the difficult nine months without her.

"I remember thinking I can't do it. I don't want to see anybody, I don't want to go anywhere, I just want to lie down in my bed and die," Lois Smart said.

On June 5, 2002, someone cut the screen on a narrow, open kitchen window in the Smart family's home and took Elizabeth at knifepoint from the bedroom she shared with her younger sister, Mary Katherine.

For nine months her family fought to keep Elizabeth's story in the public eye, with hopes of her return.

Then on March 12, residents of suburban Salt Lake City saw the man Mary Katherine identified as Elizabeth's abductor, a drifter named Brian David Mitchell who had done work on the roof of the Smart family's home. He was with two people in white robes, one of whom was Elizabeth.

Mitchell, 50, and his wife Wanda Barzee, 57, are charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated burglary in the abduction. The homeless couple allegedly kept Elizabeth as Mitchell's second wife for nine months in Utah and California. They are being held on $10 million bond pending psychological examinations to determine whether they are competent to stand trial.

Monday's appearance was the Smart family's second public interview. Their interview with NBC's Katie Couric aired on Friday.

While Winfrey conducted a long, sit-down interview with Ed and Lois Smart, her brief talk with Elizabeth was conducted while the teen sat on a couch surrounded by her siblings.

Elizabeth described herself to Winfrey as an "excellent" driver and said she was taking driver's education classes. However, her mother rated her driving abilities as a two on a scale of one to 10. Elizabeth said life at school was "regular," but that she was looking forward to her summer break.

Elizabeth and her younger sister also played the harp for Winfrey.

Her parents' book "Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope" was released Monday.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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