Barbara Walters Apologizes for Offering Assistance to Assad Aide

Several months after Barbara Walters’ exclusive interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the television journalist is apologizing for offering assistance to Sheherazad Jaafari, a former press aide to Assad and the daughter of the Syrian ambassador to the United States.

Walters’ apology comes after a new batch of leaked emails show her attempting to land Jaafari an internship on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. “I wrote to Piers Morgan and his producer to say how terrific you are and attached your résumé,” Walters wrote in one of the leaked emails.

Emails between Walters and Jaafari, who helped Walters land the first American interview with Assad, were printed in London newspaper The Telegraph earlier this week, which were reportedly sent to the publication by Syrian opposition forces. The emails also showed that Walters attempted to help Jaafari get admitted into Columbia University.

“I did offer to mention her to contacts at another media organization and in academia, though she didn’t get a job or into school,” Ms. Walters said in a statement released to The Telegraph. “In retrospect, I realize that this created a conflict and I regret that.”


Walters also said that Jaafari was seeking a job at ABC News. The television journalist declined the request, saying that it would represent a “conflict of interest.”