Hannah Anderson: Why I Wrote Letters to DiMaggio

Meanwhile, father angrily rejects call for DNA tests

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2013 5:14 AM CDT | Updated Aug 22, 2013 8:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – In her first interview since she was rescued, Hannah Anderson talks about her ordeal—and explains why she sent letters to family friend-turned-kidnapper James DiMaggio, which were later found in his burned house. At the time, she was having problems with her mom, Hannah said during an interview on this morning's Today show. "Me and him would talk about how to deal with it," she said. "And I’d tell him how I felt about it. And he helped me through it. They weren’t anything bad. They’re just to help me through tough times." As for the text messages she exchanged with DiMaggio on the day of her kidnapping, she was just explaining where he should pick her up from cheerleading camp, she said.

Hannah got emotional while talking about her little brother, Ethan, who she says "had a really big heart." A public memorial service for him and their mother is set for Saturday. She also called herself a "survivor," saying, "My mom raised me to be strong." Meanwhile, Hannah's father has angrily rejected the DiMaggio family's call for paternity tests, reports CNN. A family spokeswoman says Brett Anderson finds the request "disgusting," and points out that not only did DiMaggio not meet him and his wife until she was six months pregnant with Hannah, Brett Anderson's DNA was used to confirm the identity of 8-year-old Ethan's body, the AP reports.

This combination of photos provided by the San Diego Sheriff's Department shows James Lee DiMaggio, 40, left, and Hannah Anderson, 16.   (AP Photo/San Diego Sheriff's Department)
In this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 file photo, Hannah Anderson arrives at the Boll Weevil restaurant for a fundraiser in her honor to raise money for her family, in Lakeside, Calif.   (AP Photo/U-T San Diego, Howard Lipin, File)
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