Love exclusive: Katie Couric interviews Yeardley's mom, sister

Three weeks after former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely was sentenced to 23 years behind bars for the May 2010 murder of his estranged girlfriend, Yeardley Love, the late student's mother and sister, Sharon and Lexie Love, spoke publicly on the crime and their grief for the first time. It happened on the September 20 episode of Katie, the new daytime talk show created by veteran newscaster and UVA alumna Katie Couric.

"Did you have any inkling that she was in a dangerous relationship?" Couric asks.

"I had no idea," replies Sharon Love. "Had I thought she was in a dangerous relationship I would have taken her out of school, kept her out for a semester and put her back in when he was gone."

Like her mother, Lexie Love describes her relationship with two-years younger Yeardley as "very close," but says she never suspected Huguely was capable of serious violence. Neither mother nor sister was aware of his previous violence, including his assaults of a Lexington, Virginia police officer and a sleeping UVA lacrosse teammate.

"I never knew anybody that had done such things like that," says Lexie, adding that she was "very shocked" when those details emerged during the investigation.

While the Loves have maintained silence on the case before now, they have been active in establishing the late woman's legacy. Among their efforts is the One Love Foundation, a nonprofit that, according to its website, aims to "educate, encourage and develop in children and young adults four qualities that Love exemplified: service, kindness, humility, and sportsmanship."

Preventing domestic violence is another priority, as evidenced by the launch of the Foundation's new "Be 1 for Change" initiative that, according to a press release, will "serve as the base of a long-term campaign to combat Relationship Violence (RV) in the United States." Included in the launch is a free and anonymous "danger assessment" app for iPhone and Android, a tool designed to help individuals determine if their relationship could put them at risk, as well as a public service announcement aimed at raising awareness of dating violence among people ages 16 to 24.

Couric, who formerly anchored the Today show and CBS Evening News, earned her own diploma from UVA in 1979. Her new program, which debuted on September 10, airs weekdays at 2pm on NBC.

–Story updated September 21 at 2:04pm to include quotes from show and information about "Be 1 For Change" initiative
–Original headline: Love exclusive: Katie Couric to interview Yeardley's mom, sis

20 comments

When Katie Couric interviewed Liz Seccuro years ago, she referred to UVA as "The University" so that she minimized identifying the school and bringing bad publicity on a common problem - campus rape.

I suspect Katie C. will not say one negative word about the school's failure address George's problems. I am glad her show is having the Love's on - and I hope she wilol address all the issues that resulted in Ms Love's death - and the emotional death of so many other women who were raped and the crime ignored by the University staff. maybe Katie needs to address why UVA fought against HB2490......

excuse the typos - I failed to proofread.

I hope Katie asks some substantive questions and we get some long-needed answers.

@Simply Said "The University" is how alumni/ae refer to UVA. It's not unusual at all. Don't think she was trying to hide anything. Maybe her show will need subtitles. :-)

I hope Katie interviews President Sullivan next. Does anyone think she would refuse to answer Ms. Couric's questions ?

Go for it Katie - silence is not an acceptable answer to what transpired last summer at your alma mater .

@Nancy -- Excellent suggestion.

@Betty: I know that. She did it on purpose. No one in Kansas knows who the University is.

Folks, c'mon, it's Katie Couric, who rode the nadir of modern television. It was quite charitable of our intrepid reporter to state "a talk show created by Couric." Created? That's like calling a Subway sandwich maker an "artist." It is another in the long line of tiring, inconsequential-fluff, appealing to a low denominator emesis from network television. She actually should try her hand at soap operas; more her target audience.

As for her calling UVa "the university," I hope folks realize that "the university" was recently voted the second top public school in the USA. Maybe these pretentious little preppies should call it what it is: University of Virginia. Maybe some grads need help interpreting school ratings before using capitals on determiners and nouns.

R.I.P.: Jack Webb

I always felt Yeardley looked much like Katie .

Yeardley was the epitomy of beauty .

So sad

I saw the promo this am -- her angle was on dating violence. I had to work and couldn't watch the show -- was there any discussion how The University could have/should have intervened to assist Yeardley??

@simply said

The University covers up rapes! The Commonwealth Attorney doesn't prosecute student on student rapes, PERIOD! The chant is "we believe you" but prosecuting rapes is very difficult and student victims don't have the stomach! BULL#$@! or there isn't enough evidence. or some other lame excuse. The problem is in all other parts of the country female students do have the stomach and college rapists prosecuted! How does that work?

In this recent hook story the crotch grabber got 8 months:
http://www.readthehook.com/99255/sexually-offended-grabber-gets-8-month
But last November a UVA student reported a groping incident at a concert to the police and to UVA it wasn't taken seriously. She accused this guy came up to her in a concert and groped her breasts and crotch. He wanted to dance rubbing himself on her. He kept insisting as she pushed him away several times eventually took his photo and tracked him down on facebook to file charges. There were several witnesses and he didn't deny it. The only reason he doesn't get prosecuted is because he's a UVA student.

They were in a mutually abusive relationship, everyone seems to forget that. I think that it was only a matter of time before someone got killed, he did it first. They both had drinking problems and were vindictive to each other, no one deserved to die, but I think that people here put her up on the golden pedestal because she's a women, when in fact she was just as much a drunkard as he was.

@dirtkicker
you are a worhless POS! Do you work for the Dean of Students? We'll never know.

She had no history of beating people or being violent. She had broken up with him. She moved on. Get your facts straight. Can't wait for the law suit against UVA, who stood by and let this boy get away with everything. They would have covered this one up if they could.

Nope. Zero affiliation with UVA, just a football fan. I watched the case and the evidence presented, she also was heavy into alcohol and did some physically abusive things, even her friends admitted that she could and did get physical. I still fail to see how it's UVA's fault, everything happened off-campus, he had no run ins with the university police, no one complained about him, he lived off campus. It's not their job to play matchmaker for the students.They were both adults, they both made their decisions, sadly, she chose to remain in an abusive situation, they were vindictive to each other.

The Hook had excellent coverage of the trial. They were indeed in an abusive relationship -- but it was fueled by the fact that the Lacrosse coach and other students were aware of George's drinking. It's a complicated case to analyze, but the bottom line was that George was most certainly headed for a downfall, whether it was Yeardley or another human being. The question that was put on the table, before you gentleman began the side ravings, was how did Katie C. address the failings of The University? Most of us work during the day -- who saw it? If you watched it or can find the entire episode on line, let us know.

I just received a note from a young woman who was assaulted on campus last year and the local and campus police and UVA Admin pretty much "blew her off". Is it time for us to raise the roof on this as we did in 2004?? President Sullivan - if you are reading this, you need ot address it. I plan to take it to the General Assembly and Katie C --- again!

@dirtkicker

great try but your argument is flawed. It sounds just like a typical UVA Decision had she brought harassment charges against him before he murdered her!

You infer she was as much a danger to him as he was to her. Using your weak argument she was as likely to harm him as he was her. So if you apply that argument to each of them had they gone their separate ways, would she have been a danger to her next partner? I think the answer to that is obvious.

I followed the trial too. Allowing a partner to abuse you is not normal behavior as many battered women can attest to. Hitting someone back is self defense and when you accuse her of being vindictive it's as if he didn't deserve it. It was and is for many battered women a form of self-defense. In many cases they cannot even get away with as much.

The UVA coaches were aware this boy was out of control and as is the case in any small community (lax) the gossip was rampant. Hiding behind we had no idea is ridiculous and shows how little UVA cares about the welfare of their student body, which has been re-confirmed by the continued policy of covering up rapes under Sullivan.

Finally found the article...the Loves have developed a phone app to determine if you are in an abusive relationship. I find that ridiculous ..... you have to go through the phone app to determine if your boyfriend is abusive? Really? An app????

@Susan R
I sent you an email to the address on your website

The beginning of Couric's interview of Yeardley Love's mother and sister is available here:
http://www.katiecouric.com/on-the-show/2012/09/20/sharon-lexie-love-and-...
Anyone who wants to know more about the facts regarding the interaction of men and women in America today -- and especially any man with a daughter -- might do well to read the very thorough study published by SUNY Press -- Performing Sex: The Making and Unmaking of Women's Erotic Lives, by Breanne Fahs, Ph.D. -- an associate professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University. UVA could do itself a real favor by hiring her tomorrow.