January 10, 2023

Statement by Enough Is Enough® CEO & President Donna Rice Hughes on the Recent Passing of Friend, Confidante and Enough Is Enough® Advocate, Barbara Walters

It's been just over a week since the world lost Barbara Walters, a trailblazing journalist deservedly admired by millions. What people may not know was how caring, compassionate and kind she was.

We had a wonderful history together going back to 1987 when she first called me about doing an exclusive interview with her on ABC's 20/20. She won my trust and my heart on that call when the first thing she asked me was, "Donna darling, how are YOU doing?" at a time in my life when I was suffering, traumatized and afraid. She became my cheerleader, trusted advisor, and friend.

I had the honor of being interviewed by the legendary icon five times, three times for 20/20, once on an early episode of The View, and most recently for "Discovery Channel's "Barbara Walters Presents" which aired in 2016.  ABC News recently confirmed that this was her last interview.  I am truly humbled.

After I had begun my work at Enough Is Enough®, she brought our efforts to make the internet a safer place for children and families to the national spotlight in three of the interviews I did with her. I am forever grateful for the opportunities she provided me to share the key risks that children face on the internet, along with the safety solutions to prevent those threats, with her expansive audience.

Whenever I called her at home, she took my calls. Last we spoke, I was so concerned about her, and she comforted me and said, "Donna, I am fine, I am eating a sandwich." We had a lovely conversation that ended with "I love you, I love you too."

She will be fervently missed as a journalist, advocate, and friend.

My first television interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20 in 1987. I will never forget the kindness and compassion she showed toward me.
In my interview with Barbara on ABC's 20/20 in 2002I walked her through a simple internet search -- Barbara was shocked to learn how easy was to stumble upon internet pornography, even when one wasn't looking for it!