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tv   Nightline  ABC  October 22, 2019 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, royals revealed. prince harry and wife duchess meghan candid and emotionally raw. >> i never thought that this would be easy. but i thought it would be fair. >> now the couple revealing the hidden strains from the media scrutiny and addressing rumors of a rift between princes. the unprecedented glimpse into lives dissected in the spotlight. plus alt-right delete. >> i never thought of myself as a racist person but i was. >> how one woman walked away from a path of hate. once entangled in a life of white supremacy, now turning the page, breaking her silence. >> did you ever post hateful
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messages. >> first the "nightline 5."
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>> eng. thanks. prince harry and wife duchess meghan getting candid documentary revealing unprecedented access into their private lives. and the strain of being in the public eye.
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>> when i first met my now husband, my friends were really happy because i was so happy. but my british friends said to me, i'm sure he's great, but you shouldn't do it because the british tabloids will destroy your life. >> of course there's a lot of stuff that hurts. especially when the majority of it is untrue. i'll not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mom. >> reporter: prince harry and duchess meghan sharing raw moments with itv's tom bradby about the extreme pressures of life in the glaring spotlight, where every move is photographed and scrutinized. >> any woman, especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable. and so that was made really challenging. and then when you have a newborn -- you know -- >> it's a long time ago but i remember. >> especially as a woman, it's really -- it's a lot. >> reporter: quiet confessions
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all part of a new documentary call following the royal family on their recent journey to africa, providing an unprecedented glimpse into their hopes and their fears. >> would it be fair to say, not really okay, it's really been a struggle? >> yes. >> for meghan it was a chance for her to really share what was on her mind. it's a chance to say how difficult it's been since the beginning. now the question is how are they going to overcome this? >> reporter: their travels to africa a family affair. ten days with 5-month-old archie. >> it's really inspiring for us to be and a family on a trip like this, to bring our baby. >> he was looking out the window, he's found his voice now, he's bouncing up and down, making noise. >> reporter: british itn cameras granted special access to the new parents. the littlest royal making his debut in capetown as he's introduced to one of south africa's most revered
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archbishop desmond tutu. on harry's itinerary, angola, where 22 years mefie to civil war. >> it's quite emotional for me. i think as much as she did then, there's still so much to do. >> reporter: princess diana never saw the difference her work made here. she died seven months later in a car crash after being chased by paparazzi, a loss harry laid bare in the documentary. >> do you feel at peace in a way yet? or is it still a sort of wound that festers? >> i think probably a wound that festers. i think being part of this family, in this role, in this job every single time i see a camera, every single time i hear a click, every single time i see a flash, it takes me straight
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back. everything she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day. that's not being paranoid, that's me not wanting a repeat of the past. >> reporter: in a candid moment addressing rumored strains with his brother, prince william. >> we're certainly on different paths at the moment but i'll always be there for him, i know he'll always be there for me. we don't see each other as much as we used to because we're so busy. but i love him dearly, and the majority of the stuff is -- well, the majority of stuff is created out of nothing. >> reporter: all this followed a summer of tough press for the couple. >> prince harry defending the way his family travels. harry facing harsh criticism for traveling in private jets. >> reporter: dozens of negative headlines graced covers from the use of private planes to the duchess' request for anonymity at a wimbledon match. >> this summer was probably their boston when it came to their relationship with the british tabloids. a number of negative and false stories written about them, particularly about their private lives at frogmore cottage.
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for the two of them, africa the chance to show the world about they're about. >> reporter: as the africa tour neared its end, tensions began to flare visibly. on the final day, a bitter legal battle began. the duchess of sussex filing a lawsuit against "the mail" on sunday, and its parent company, on a privacy claim. her lawyers accusing them of being on a campaign to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories. shortly after the couple returned to the uk, prince harry sued the owners of both "the sun" and "the mirror" alleging the illegal interception of voice mail messages. >> you continue and constantly see and hear negativity, it can be overwhelming. you can feel powerless and lost. you can feel different, confused, or like you don't belong. >> reporter: "the mail" sunday stated they stand by the story as published and will be defending its case vigorously. "the sun" and "the mirror" have not responded to the allegations in their lawsuits. >> have the british tabloids
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overstepped the mark? yes, on occasion, and certainly i think where meghan and harry are busy suing the press, they could absolutely win those court cases. will they win the court of public opinion? to win the court of public opinion, which the royals need to survive, you need the press. >> reporter: the relentless media interest in the couple began not long after the two met in the summer of 2016. british tabloids descended on them with racially charged headlines. >> it's a shame that that is the climate in this world, to focus that much on that, or to be discriminatory in that sense. i think at the end of the day, i'm really just proud of who i am and where i come from, and we have never put any focus on that. we've just focused on who we are as a couple. >> reporter: at first their coping strategy, according to the duchess, was to ignore the headlines. >> i think we were just hit so hard at the beginning with a lot of mistruths that i made the choice to not read anything, positive or negative. instead we focused all our
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energies on nurturing our relationship. >> on us, yeah. >> on us. >> reporter: nearly two years later, meghan sharing in the documentary the stakes seem higher than ever. >> can you put up with this? and what happens if you can't? >> you know, i've said for a long time to h. -- sorry. >> it's okay. >> it's not enough to just survive something, right? like that's not the point of life. you've got to thrive. you've got to feel happy. and i think i really try to adopt this british sensibility of a stiff upper lip. >> it has its -- you know, it has its detractors, i guess. >> i've tried, but i think that -- what that does internally is probably really damaging. and the biggest thing that i know is that i never thought
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that this would be easy, but i thought it would be fair. and that's the part that's really hard to reconcile. i don't know, just take each day as it comes. >> for more, be sure to tune in to "harry and meghan: an african journey" wednesday evening, 10/9 central, right here on abc. up next, from walking a path of hate to walking away. one on one with a former white supremacist and her message to others. i thought i was managing my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. but i realized something was missing... me. the thought of my symptoms returning was keeping me from being there for the people and things i love most. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira can help get, and keep, uc under control when other medications haven'th and it helps people achieve control that lasts so you could experience few or no symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers,
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most horrific acts of violence in the country. now one former member who longed to belong and found herself in the throes of a hate group coming out on the other side and speaking out in her first television interview. here's my "nightline" coanchor byron pitts. >> when you're in there, you think that you just know the truth. white people are more intellectually capable than other people. >> reporter: they are the words of a repentant racist. >> i start to use the phrasing and the language that there is an overwhelming majority of jewish people in media and thinking, you know -- you start to ask yourself, are jewish people white? >> reporter: a young woman once consumed by hate. in that time did you think you were racist? >> i didn't. >> looking back did you think you were? >> yes. i never thought of myself as a racist person, but i was. >> reporter: samantha spent about a year of her life embroiled in a white supremacist hate group called identity europa. in the summer of 2017, identity
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europa united with other groups in a white supremacist movement and descended upon charlottesville, virginia. >> jews will not replace us! >> reporter: it was a weekend filled with hate. one that would result in the death of a young woman, heather heyer, after rallygoer james alex fields jr. deliberately drove his car into a group of counter protesters. fields was sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges. >> up until the unite the right rally, there was no explicitly connected death to the alt-right. and everything changed that day. >> reporter: she realized it was time to get out. >> by the time i had left, there was the promotion of an ethno-state, the promotion of peaceful ethnic cleansing. there's nothing not hateful about that. >> rep sanomg forward to warn others about the prevalence of hate and the means by which these groups bring others into their fold.
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>> people need to understand that it's not the kid in wyoming who grew up with gas station beer and a toothless father who becomes this. rgeon, it yr doctor, tyo reporter: her story is included in the new book "anti-social: online extremists, techno-utopi techno-utopians, and the hijacking of the american conversation." >> i had talked to a lot of people in the alt-right at that point. she was one of the few people who was not in propaganda mode when she talked to me. so i felt like, rather than getting spin or what the movement wanted me to hear, i was just getting an actual human's story. >> reporter: samantha says while in the group she attended a few white supremacy events, like this one in the spring of 2017 held in d.c. >> young people are not -- >> reporter: there she is among the crowd listening to the words of alt-right founder richard spencer. smntds that says it was rare for tinlved.
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>> there wass at let like a woman at every party that i had gone to, other than me, but it was like a handful. >> they went to great lengths to make her feel important, because she was important, because they needed someone to be the female face of their very active in the group's online chat rooms. did you ever post hateful messages? >> probably. i don't specifically recall, but i probably did. >> sounds to me like when a politician is asked, did you ever pose in blackface? either you did or didn't. >> i don't know. i say that in the sense that i haven't looked back, but i probably did. >> reporter: but her participation grew darker. >> i remember i was at a party. in walks one of the leaders of the movement. he said, seig -- pretty much everyone raised their hand and said, heil. >> including you? >> eventually, yeah. it happened one or two times. by the third time, i did it.
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i knew that it wasn't -- it was not a good look, but i did it. everyone else was doing it. >> reporter: that kind of thinking, putting aside one's morals to follow in the at got samantha involved with white supremacy in the first place, she so badly wanted to feel like she belonged. >> i came to the realization instead of accepting i'm a generally mediocre person, those groups make you feel like you are excellent, you are it, just for existing, for doing absolutely nothing. >> you're making it sound like, if you're a member of one of these groups, the qualifications are, be white and be a loser. >> i can't argue that. >> it's easier to get sucked in if you're lonely, if you don't have a strong sense of self. i think they got to her at a time in her life when she was just really battered around, didn't really know who she was. >> reporter: she was a girl who grew up in the suburbs of new
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jersey, middle class as she describes it. a nice disguise for family demons. >> my brother and i were trying to raise ourselves. in the middle of high school, i moved to florida. i just felt like a total and complete alien. >> how do we get from there to where you went next in your life? >> i met someone in 2014 that i immediately fell in love with them. and that was that. it was game over. >> reporter: but samantha says one day, that all changed. when he changed. >> he'd become a degenerate. he started saying phrases like, he couldn't defend me on the day of the rope. >> day of the rope? what is that? >> day of the rope is -- whoo. the day of the rope is the day as written in the turner diaries where white people, as a race, take people that they have deemed degenerates, unworthy, people of color, people with disabilities, people that are gay or whatever, whatever is deemed unpure, unfit for the
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white race, and they drag them out of their houses and they hang them by lamp posts. >> the turner diaries sounds like a hymnal for adolf hitler. >> yeah. i mean, it was found in timothy mcveigh's car after the oklahoma bombings. >> where do you go from there? >> i confronted him and just asked him like, what is all of this stuff? and he looked me dead in the eye and just said, i think i'm a fascist, and i don't want to be with anyone who can't support that. and then i packed up whatever i had with me and left. and i was crying. by the time i got to my house i was like, i need to understand it, though, like where did this come from? >> reporter: she says she spent the next five days scouring the internet for information in an effort to convince herself that her boyfriend wasn't racist. a few days later she calls him. >> and i tell him, i'll try and understand this with you. and so i start consuming more
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media. >> were all these videos violent? >> no. i mean, a lot of it was, here's a baking show with this woman who is dressed like a traditional woman on a prairie. >> she's really smart, but she didn't know enough to know the things that were talking points and the things that were propaganda and how to push back against them with reality. >> reporter: soon after she joined that group, identity europa. >> soon after i joined i thought it was pro-white, i didn't think about what it really was. >> it really is what? >> a hate group. it's absolutely a hate group. >> in your words you were pro-white. did that mean you thought less of people who look like me? >> no, i didn't think i did. >> either you're pregnant or you're not, right? >> that's something i've struggled to come to terms with, but i didn't think i was doing reanded theelves as the
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american identity movement that according to the anti-defamation league. >> a lot of these groups, they constantly have to rebrand. because they have such a terrible actual belief system, that once people find out what the belief system is, they have to keep shifting. but the core of it is the same. >> reporter: on its website it describes itself as an organization that displays defiance against mass immigration and globalism, prohibit the advocacy or participation in supremacy, violence, or illegal activity. they say allegations to the contrary originate from left-wing individuals and organizations. as for samantha, today she lives with both fear and regret. fear of those she followed. regret for those such hate can harm. >> i learned from this, and i really hope i can help people understand how this happens and how they too can get out, and how maybe you can even stop someone from "nitle,"
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i'm byron pitts. >> our thanks to byron for that report. up next, the story of a generation coming to a close with "the rise of skywalker." we'd love some help with laundry. spray and scrub anything with a stain. wash the really dirty clothes separately. tide pods with upgraded 4-in-1 technology unleash a foolproof clean in one step. aww, you did the laundry! it's got to be tide. governot just the powerful and well-connected. that's the american promise. but big corporations and special interests are in control. nothing's happening for real people.candng f idhaveatas. but we can't get anything done unless we make our democracy serve the people again. i'm tom steyer. i approve this message. i'm running for president because it's time our democracy works for people.
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and now a final fight for the skywalkers. the wait is over. the final trailer for the much-anticipated movie "star wars: the rise of skywalker" dropping tonight. the film marking the final chapter in the decades-long
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skywalker saga. the resistance heroes facing off with the first order, embarking on one last battle together with some familiar faces. and tonight we also want to wish a very happy birthday to someone very dear to us at "nightline", my coanchor byron pitts. happy birthday to my work husband, who sometimes acts as my work child. enjoy. that's "nightline" for tonight. catch our full episodes on hulu. thanks for staying up with us, america. good night.
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