Somaly Mam is on the line today. She is the Cambodian anti-sex trafficking activist who came to prominence a few years ago as celebrities in the west rallied around her and her organization. That all came crashing down this year when Newsweek published a cover story calling into question the credibility of her amazing personal story, which includes escaping from the sex trade herself. She was ousted from the organization that bears her name and was tarnished by some of her closest allies. Then, in September, Marie Claire published an article calling into question some of the claims of that Newsweek takedown, suggesting that key details were incorrect.
So what is the real story? I don’t know. The point of this interview was not to engage in a back and forth with Somaly about whether or not she fabricated claims about past. Rather, I was interested in learning what she is up to now, and how this controversy has affected her personally and her work rescuing girls from the sex trade. To be honest, I’m not sure I succeeded. It was a tough interview. I’ll let you decide. Please feel free to direct your criticisms and critiques (or, if you like it, your approbation) of this interview to me personally, via @MarkLGoldberg