Kidnap Survivor Elizabeth Smart Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted On Delta Flight

Feb. 6 2020, Updated 10:46 p.m. ET

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Former kidnapping victim and rape survivor Elizabeth Smart just revealed she was sexually assaulted on a Delta flight this past summer, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Speaking to Gayle King on CBS This Morning on Thursday, February 6, Smart, 32, explained how she had felt comfortable flying — until she woke up a to a man touching her thigh.

"I've always felt safe on an airplane, I've never been worried or felt threatened on an airplane until now," she admitted. "I had been asleep and all of a sudden, I woke up because I felt someone's hand rubbing in between my legs on my inner thighs."

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"The last time someone touched me without my say so was when I was kidnapped,” she added.

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As Radar readers know, Smart was kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night when she was just 14 years old. She was held in captivity for nine months between 2002 and 2003, until she was rescued by police.

Speaking of her recent plane incident, Smart said she was shocked by her abuser’s reaction when she realized what he was doing.

“I jerked awake. I expected the man to jerk his hand away, apologize, give me some kind of reason why he was touching me. I froze. I didn't know what to do. He did nothing," she said.

Smart has since contacted Delta to inform them of the incident. The airline is now assisting the FBI with the investigation.

"I filed a complaint online they called me back and were so apologetic. It's not Delta's fault. It was this man. This man made a decision," Smart explained. "The were appalled, they offered to help as much as they could to back me up as far as I wanted to take this. I did follow up with the FBI. I don't want him to be preying on other girls. It's an ongoing investigation right now.”

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Since her rescue in 2003, Smart has devoted her life to helping other kidnapping survivors overcome their traumas.

"I kept saying to myself, 'You're Elizabeth Smart, you should know what to do,’” she said of the sexual abuse. “I called up my husband and said, 'do I just have a big badge on my forehead that says easy prey or victim? Because I am sick of it.'"

Since her kidnapping, Smart has launched a self-defense class for girls and women so that they have to the tools to escape dangerous situations like the ones she's found herself in.

Smart married Scottish-born Matthew Gilmer in 2012. The two met while they were both serving missions for the Mormon Church in France. They have three children together.

"I have a wonderful husband, beautiful kids. I have three children - they are mine. They do look like me and my husband. What a lot of people don't understand is there's a big difference between rape and sexual assault and loving and gentle and consensual — most importantly - intimacy,” she explained in the CBS interview. "There's a difference. I've experienced both."

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