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Giffords TV interview undecided, spokesman says

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U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has not decided to give her first TV interview since being shot in January any time soon, the congresswoman's spokesman said Monday, quashing reports that Giffords would grant ABC's Diane Sawyer an interview.

ABC hinted at the interview in a news release Monday morning, while announcing that Giffords' husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, would appear on a prime-time special the night before the couple's joint memoir is released.

"Congresswoman Giffords has not decided if she's going to conduct an on-camera interview," said Mark Kimble, her spokesman.

Sawyer will interview Kelly on camera, and "sit down and talk with Mark and Gabby" off camera, Kimble said.

Giffords will make a decision on an interview "at some point, based on her progress" in rehabilitation, he said.

ABC News touted "a landmark television event" in their Monday press release, saying "Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly will share their remarkable story for the first time since the tragic shootings" in "a broadcast exclusive."

"Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope," the book by Giffords and Kelly, is to be published Nov. 15. The memoir was co-written by Jeffrey Zaslow.

Giffords has not given an interview since being shot in the head in what authorities charge was an assassination attempt on Jan. 8.

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Kelly gave an interview to Sawyer shortly after the shooting, which aired as part of a television special.

The day his interview aired in January, Kelly sat down with a group of local reporters and answered questions for nearly an hour.

"When Gabby does decide to do an interview, I think a lot of consideration will be given to local media," Kimble said.

Six were killed and 12 others wounded in the mass shooting. Jared Lee Loughner faces 49 federal counts in the shooting, which took place at a "Congress On Your Corner" meet-and-greet with constituents.

A Scribner's spokesman said that Giffords and Kelly have not scheduled any other interviews related to the book.

While undergoing rehabilitation in Houston after being shot through the brain, Giffords has made only a few public appearances, and traveled little.

She returned to Tucson over Labor Day weekend, seeing close friends and family and having dinner with staffers from University Medical Center.

She made two trips to Florida to see her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, command the space shuttle, and also visited Tucson in June.

Her most noteworthy, and public, appearance was to return to Congress on Aug. 1 to cast a vote on the debt ceiling.

Note: The initial posting of this story reported that ABC had announced an interview with Giffords. Spokesman Mark Kimble took issue with our update that called the interview “unlikely,” so we have changed the headline to reflect his statement that Giffords has not yet decided whether to give an interview to Sawyer.


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P.K. Weis/SouthwestPhotoBank.com

Gifford in a May photo, released in June by her office.

ABC News press release

In a landmark television event, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly will share their remarkable story for the first time since the tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011.

Giffords’ story of strength, hope, and astounding resilience has captivated the nation over the past eight months. Rep. Giffords was hosting a ‘Congress on Your Corner’ meet-and-greet event for constituents in Tucson, Arizona the morning of January 8 when shots rang out. Six people were killed, and many others injured, including Giffords.

In a broadcast exclusive, Diane Sawyer chronicles Giffords’ courageous, step-by-step journey to recover from her near fatal injury, with her husband by her side. The broadcast will also document the couple’s courtship, marriage, and extraordinary careers in public service. The Diane Sawyer special will air on Monday, November 14 at 10:00 PM ET on the ABC Television Network.

The broadcast will air in conjunction with the publication of ”Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope,” a memoir by Congresswoman Giffords and Mark Kelly, co-written by Jeffrey Zaslow, Wall Street Journal columnist and co-author of “The Last Lecture.” The much-anticipated memoir is being published by Scribner on November 15, 2011. A portion of the authors’ net proceeds will go to charities in Arizona.

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