We now know that 27-year-old Chanel Miller is Emily Doe, the anonymous woman at the center of the Stanford sexual assault case, whose powerful victim impact statement directed at Brock Turner went viral. Miller revealed her identity earlier this month in advance of the release of Know My Name, her memoir focusing on her assault, and in a new interview with The New York Times she talks about why she stayed anonymous as Emily Doe during the case.
“It let me have a life in which this never happened,” she says of the alias, but it also effectively erased her totality in the eyes of the media who were quick to label Turner a talented “Stanford swimmer.” “I remember thinking, after reading the news about him, that I wished I had more extracurriculars,” she says. “The fact that I had no headline, it was just so clear to me that I was nobody.”
A literature major at UC Santa Barbara who previously told CBS News that she wanted to be a writer since she was a child, Know My Name gives Miller the opportunity to share her story entirely on her own terms. As much as “Emily Doe” allowed her to compartmentalize her assault and protect herself, Miller says her book and revealing her identity is now a way to accept and engage with her assault. “Before, I wanted the assault to not be a part of my life, and that was the goal,” she tells the NYT. “Now it’s accepting that it will always be a part of my life, and I just figure out where it lives inside my life.”