Former GMTV reporter Lara Logan suffered a nightmare sex attack while covering the jubilation in Egypt following President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, it was revealed last night.
The 39-year-old ex-swimwear model - now chief foreign correspondent for America’s CBS News network - was set upon by a mob of more than 200 people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
After being separated from her TV crew, the mother-of-one endured ‘a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating,’ according to CBS.
‘Her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.’
She was saved by a group of women and about 20 Egyptian soldiers, the network said in a statement.
Ms Logan is said to have flown home to the US the day after last Friday’s attack.
‘She is currently in the hospital recovering,’ said CBS. The network did not explain the nature of the sexual assault.
The South-African born veteran war correspondent was tipped at one time to be a presenter on GMTV before leaving to work for CBS in 2002.
She found herself at the centre of a row over sexism on the front line after ITV correspondent Julian Manyon wrote in a Spectator article about ‘the considerable physical charms of my travelling companion, the delectable Lara Logan, who exploits her God-given advantages with a skill that Mata Hari might envy.’
Ms Logan angrily hit back at the claim, saying good contacts and a devotion to her job were the reason she enjoyed such good access to Northern Alliance leaders in Afghanistan.
She was also featured in a front page tabloid report claiming her skimpy tops were upsetting soldiers in the combat zone.
During her two years with GMTV, she covered floods in Mozambique and land invasions in Zimbabwe as well as the war in Afghanistan.
She has regularly filed reports from Afghanistan and Iraq for CBS over the last decade.
Days before the attack, Ms Logan and her crew were detained by the Egyptian authorities.
She said she was marched at gunpoint back to her hotel in ‘a very frightening experience and one that was repeated throughout the day for us.
‘Everywhere we went we were approached by people,’ she said at the time. ‘We were accused of being more than journalists, very frightening suggestions were being made. Suggestions that really could be very dangerous for us,’ she added.
The mother of a two-year-old son is one of at least 140 correspondents who have been injured or killed since January 30 while covering the unrest in Egypt, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Ms Logan was previously married to professional basketball player Jason Siemon, whom she wed in 1998. The pair separated while she was in Iraq.
In 2007, about two years after her separation, she began a short-lived relationship with CNN correspondent Michael Ware, after she began dating Joseph Burkett.
She met Mr Burkett in Iraq, where he worked as a U.S. defence contractor.
Mr Burkett also has a daughter with his ex-wife Kimberly, to whom he was still legally married when he met Logan , although they had been separated for years.
Ms Logan became tabloid fodder in early 2008 when Kimberly overdosed on tranquilisers after her husband filed for divorce.
She recovered and her lawyer reportedly told a US publication that 'Kimberly believes Lara stole her husband.'
Ms Logan and Mr Burkett married in autumn 2008 and in December 2008 Logan gave birth to son Joseph Washington Burkett V.
Prior to Mubarak stepping down, the Egyptian military had been rounding up members of the press for their own safety after several were stabbed, punched, kicked, marched back to their hotel by gunpoint or hijacked in their cars.
Pro-Mubarak supporters had blamed the press for encouraging the uprising and publishing pro-democracy views.
CNN's star reporter Anderson Cooper was pulled out of Egypt ten days ago after he was physically assaulted.
Cooper described how he was 'roughed up by thugs' and hit in the back of the head in the pro-Mubarak crowd, calling it 'pandemonium' and 'out of control'.
ABC's Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour were also physically attacked.
Miss Couric was said to have been manhandled in the city while Miss Amanpour's car was surrounded by rioters shouting they hated America, though she escaped unhurt.
A Greek photographer was stabbed in the leg, while the BBC's Jerome Boehm was also targeted by thugs.
Reuters said one of its television crews were beaten up close to Tahrir Square while filming a piece about shops and banks being forced to shut during the clashes.