There are few television interviewers out there who can handle a truly diverse array of guests and topics. Even rarer are the interviewers who can handle the most sensitive subjects with the grace and respect that they require. When we think of interviewers who fit that description, Oprah Winfrey often tops the list.
Although Oprah retired from her daily talk show in 2011, some of her most memorable interviews have taken place since then. Later this month, Oprah will be airing an interview with Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky and one of his many sex abuse victims.
News reports about the upcoming interview provide only scant details. But according to several of the “teaser” articles, Matthew Sandusky will be discussing the manipulation and grooming techniques that Jerry Sandusky used on him and other victims. A short clip of the interview shows Matthew saying that “At bedtime, his ritual began.”
Among Sandusky’s dozens of victims, it seems reasonable to assume that Matthew endured the most frequent abuse. Adding insult to his injuries is the fact that Dottie Sandusky, Matt’s adoptive mother, continues to claim that her husband is innocent and that the alleged victims who came forward were motivated by money.
Sadly, this level of denial is common among the spouses of powerful and manipulative men like Jerry Sandusky. Mrs. Sandusky’s denials may be a method of psychological self-preservation, but her words are insulting and hurtful to those who have been abused by Jerry Sandusky, including Matthew.
If there is one silver lining to be found in this tragedy, it is that Jerry Sandusky’s very public trial has raised greater awareness about the issue of child sexual abuse. It has even inspired other sex abuse victims to come to terms with their pasts and face their abusers. Hopefully, the interview with Matthew Sandusky will similarly provide hope and healing to viewers across the country.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Oprah Lands First Interview With Jerry Sandusky’s Adopted Son, Matthew (VIDEO),” July 8, 2014