Charla Nash, Connecticut woman mauled by chimpanzee, unveils face on Oprah

November 12th, 2009 by — If Charla Nash still had eyes, she too would be horrified.

The Connecticut woman who was mauled by a 200-pound chimpanzee revealed to the world Wednesday what was left of her face.

“The veil is lifted,” Oprah Winfrey said as she helped Nash remove her hat and coverings.

Nash displayed a remarkable resolve and insisted she was not angry about what happened to her.

“I don’t even think about it,” Nash said on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “And there’s no time for that anyways, because I need to heal, you know, not look backwards.”

Nash’s words – as well as her disfigured appearance – moved Winfrey.

“It is really shocking when you first look at her face, but after you sit with her, you begin to feel the power of her humanity,” she told her studio audience.

Nash was visiting her pal Sandra Herold in Stamford, Conn., last February, when Herold’s pet chimp, Travis, suddenly attacked her. The berserk beast tore off Nash’s nose, lips and eyelids before being shot dead by cops.

Nash, 56, is suing Herold for $50 million in damages and insists she doesn’t remember being attacked.

“I don’t want to” remember, she told Winfrey. “I want to get healthy. I don’t want to wake up with nightmares.”

Once an attractive blonde, Nash’s face is swollen and damaged beyond recognition, with a large mound of skin where her nose had been.

Nash told Winfrey she feels no pain and found out just a few weeks ago that the reason she cannot see is because she no longer has eyes. She said that’s a blessing, in a way.

“It’s like less for me to worry about if I don’t know,” she said.

Nash also lost her hands to Travis. She’s being treated at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and is forced to eat everything through a straw.

She dreams of one day eating pizza.

A face transplant candidate, Nash said what’s left feels like “patches of tape or gauze.” She said she knows by touching it that, “I have my forehead.”

Nash credited her brothers with helping her get through the ordeal and said she tries to walk every day, “even if I don’t feel good.” She says she covers her face “so I don’t scare people.”

“I’m the same person I’ve always been,” she said. “I just look different.”

Asked if she had any regrets, Nash said she wished she could spend more time with her daughter, Briana, who is heading to college next year.

“Her prom is coming up and I can’t pick out her gown,” she said. “So I can only hope that she picks out something appropriate to wear. You know how kids are. And that she had a good time there.”

Asked if the horrific experience taught her anything, Nash said “I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

“Before, I was always really independent,” she said.

29 Responses

  1. Chicago Interpreter

    Monkeys are monkeys. Even human beings when triggered can get out of control. I admire Charla Nash for her strength & courage to show herself out on national T.V. just to warn the people and tell her story. I’m hoping that she will be able to receive continuous love, support & concern for a long, long time.

  2. Frank

    loved the little bit of manson’s parody that i heard this morning! “eyes ripped off my faaaace” hahahaa classic!!

  3. Franks Mother

    Karma’s a bitch Frank. If this happened to one in your family I’m sure you wouldn’t be laughing behind your computer screen.


  4. Horhay

    She looks like the Guy from Hannibal….

  5. Dan


  6. Pete

    As sad as this is, this is the result of keeping wild animals as pets. A 200lb chimp has no business being in a house as a pet. They belong at the zoo or left in the wild. Same with the “sea bass” that had his pet snake strangle the baby.

  7. Tom T

    I wonder what she looked like before? do you have a before shot?
    Bad Monkey! Bad Monkey!

  8. Marlin

    I admire the courage that this lady has

  9. Bubba488

    Aw man that is awful! I don’t know if I would like to continue live.

  10. Weedo


  11. Tom

    Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

  12. Rosa

    I can’t imagine that ever happening to me and I commend her for being strong enough to go on TV. I heard the 911 tape and was appauled on how long it took her friend to tell the operator what the hell was going on. Instead of calling the police she should have gone in the kitchen and stabbed the monkey herself. $50 Million is a lot of money but nothing can bring that woman’s face back.

  13. kaylee

    Wow she cant see hersekf so how can you think that she is brave for showing herself….
    But yes i agree she is strong!!
    poor lady

  14. Tim Tebow

    I cant feeling bad for laughing at Manson’s songs about this woman now. I wish her the best in her future surgeries and recovery.

  15. Tow Truck Tony (Riverside Ca.)

    Wow I am pretty much a hard ass when it comes to people being and doing stupid things to them self’s but I really feel for this woman she did not do anything to deserve this to happen to her. I think if you have a monkey or an exotic animal that you just cant live to be with out your an ASSHOLE!!! Animals are dangerous by nature and should only be handled by trained professional workers (Zoos)!!! I’m not talking about dogs and cats but I mean animals like MONKEYS tigers lions panthers.

  16. alan charlap

    I have sent and called and left messages and talked to Bubba’s Publicist and wanted you to hear what the QUEEN of All Media has done to exploit carla Nash in front on hundreds of millions of TV Viewers. She asked Carla to remove a Vail that was about 25% exposed and it was enough to see the horrific Disfigurement that the 200 lb Chimp had done to her face and body. She was telling the viewers that She had no eyes and no Mouth except for a hole to sip Her food through. As the impression and the amount of scars and disfigurement that was seen with the vail partially raised, here come Oprah asking Carla Nash to remove Her Vail, so the American and Worldly Viewers can see that I have enough Ego and prestige that i can get any guest and thay will do whatever I ask them to do or ask them about. Well for exploitaion of this Brutilized Victom, Mrs Oprah you need to step up and make sure that Carla Nash has the Finest Medical Help that Your money can BUY! You are peforming a MITZVAH ! That’s Jewish for making a Person feel that they are Special and they deserve the BEST. You can do it , Oprah! Can I help please Alan Charlap 954-646-3662 THE HEAD OF THE “MAKE OPRAH PAY” Club.

  17. Scott

    And who is this Oprah bitch to parade this lady for profit. God how Oprah makes me sick.
    On a side note, I heard on the Stern Show this morning this lady had been over to the chimp owner’s house on a previous occasion and the monkey ripped hair from her head. According to Stern, the chimp’s owner was laughing until the lady said she was in pain. If it’s true, I sure as hell wouldn’t have gone back to the house.

  18. Chris

    To laugh at a person who has gone through the suffering this person has gone through is so sickening it borderlines Hitler like. Atheist or not continuing to play your song after seeing this photo shows a character lower than low. Frank above is a sick person and if you continue to play this song I hope that your show is removed from the airways. And this is from a person who listened to your show daily.

  19. N/A

    Monkeys are monkeys. Chimps, however, are apes.

  20. Karyn

    In my observation dealing with simian primates old world or new world primates is “DANGEROUS”.

    The simians are knowen to eat there own young [males] or if a different troop is encroching upon a different troops territory the troop is calculative in attacking and killing a group in a troops territory.

    Males will rape and kill there own young! This is why the babies stay close to there mothers!Chimps deficiate and throw there stool at you!
    Eyes are ripped out so the emeny can NOT defend themselves!

    Why do we as humans want to help simians? They are dangerous, calculative and vicious as well as smart. Just because I persoanlly like tigers and snow lepords does mean I would consider keeping these animals as a pets?

    If anyone has a fasicination with simians go to a zoo and observe behaviors and ask the simian keepers about “Behaviors”.

    Does anyone even consider the diseases simians [ie: hemorrhagic fevers] carry and transfer to us as humans? All Simians old and New world should be banned as pets!

    Respectfully Submitted,

  21. Adrian

    I feel bad for this lady and all, but who in their right mind would go over to a friend’s house knowing they have a 200 lb chimp for a pet, and knowing they give the chimp Xanax. I mean…come on people…I think common sense should have told her that maybe I shouldn’t be coming over to my friend’s house if she is drugging her pet chimp. I think the blame is across the board.

  22. Jim Couch

    i have to agree with karyn on this one, why one would want to keep a primate such as this unpredicdable wild animal is beyond my belief


  23. Gerry Lincoln

    Damn Orca will exploit anyone for ratings.

    Not the first time she’s taken advantage of someone else’s misery for personal financial gain.

    Probably not the last . . .

  24. Brian

    OOOh… Yeah…Guys, I love ya in a non-faggot way, but I really think the monkey songs need to go away, even though I know they’re poking at the chimp’s dumb-ass owner. It’s just too damn sad.

  25. fumc

    Charla Nash,
    we pray to our lord jesus christ for salvagation and peace in your life and will mention you in every prayer our greater being has a plan for you! god bless you!!!!

  26. bubba army

    you mean salvation? I get it!man that has got to suck to think”If i would not of went over to visit that day how this would of never happend” its got to keep running threw your mind.

  27. Jeremy

    All I can say is “Kill me please” would be the only words out of what was left of my mouth. It couldn’t happen fast enough. Oh yeah, and Oprah is a fat media whore!!!

  28. Cimaje

    If a chimp can lift 1,000 lbs with 1 arm I wouldn’t even keep a chimp no matter how highly its trained apes are apes

  29. Brittany

    I want to know what’s going to happen to the chimp’s owner? Her face is what everyone sees first but the damned thing ripped off her hands too!! In the 911 recording you can hear the owner saying “he’s eating her!!” WTF?!?!? The sad part is that the animal, who was only acting on instinct will likely be put down but the owner will not. Why not let the chimp have a few rounds with that bimbo before they terminate him.

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