this is "nightline." >> tonight, after the nightmare. >> she's alive and they branded her. >> the husband of allegedly abducted california mom sherri papini revealing harrowing new details. >> she's screaming so much, coughing up blood. >> how he broke the news to their young children. >> mommy went running and -- and she didn't come home. >> the dramatic moment he found out she was still alive. >> my wife scream until the background, yelling my name. >> and the critical clues in the hunt for the suspects. plus you might not live in mariah carey's world but you can have a peek inside. a no holds barred look at the top diva's fantasy life. even the not so fabulous parts.
>> these shoes are abuse of. >> choosing a dress for a wedding that would never happen and the public split from her billionaire fiance. but first the "nightline 5." >> how you doing? enough pressure in here for you? >> my sinuses are killing me. >> yeah, wait till we hit 10,000 feet. >> i'm going to take mucinex sinus max. >> too late, we're about to take off. >> these dissolve fast, they're liquid gels. you're coming with me. >> you realize i'm gold status. do i still get the miles? >> mucinex sinus max liquid gels dissolve fast to release max strength medicine. multi-symptom for a powerful rush of cold symptom
thank you for joining us. as the california mother who was allegedly an ducted and tortured recovers in safety we learn astonishing new details about her time in captivity. her husband speaks out in an abc exclusive detailing the horrors his wife endured and the agony of a family confronting the unthinkable. here's abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: it's every family's worst nightmare. a wife and mother goes out for a run and disappears without a trace. her frantic husband desperate to find her. >> i thought, am i really coming out here to look for my wife? >> only to have her mysteriously reappear, badly beaten, three weeks later. >> breaking news this thanksgiving day. >> sherri papini has been found alive. >> prepare yourself, she's alive and you've just got to be happy. >> reporter: tonight sherri papini's husband keith opening up only to abc news. >> the things she told me. >> reporter: it all began on november 2nd. keith papini returned to the
family's two-story home outside redding, california, expecting the usual boy truss welcome from wife sherri and their two kids. 2-year-old violent and 4-year-old tyler. instead, the house is silent. >> i thought, okay, maybe they're outside. and i looked around outside. but at the time i was like, oh, you know, i'm sure they're all together. i had no reason to believe otherwise. >> reporter: he opens an app to see if he can track sherri's location. >> now i'm looking for a phone because it's saying it's here. it's here. and it did not take me long. it was right off the road. >> reporter: it was right there. sherri's iphone lying in the grass, discarded by these mailboxes. strands of her blond hair tangled in the headphones. keith goes into full crisis mode. he takes two pictures of sherri's iphone and then dials 911. >> i wanted to make a clear
message, this is real, you need to get here now. i knew she was taken. >> reporter: the frantic search begins. and at first the couple's two children still do not know their mother is missing. but keith felt he couldn't keep that terrible secret from their son tyler. >> he knew something was up. and he said, dad, you can tell me anything. so i just said, son, mommy went running and she -- she didn't come home and we're all looking for her right now. >> reporter: but despite an intensive search and rescue operation, no sign of sherri. >> i would never wish this feeling upon anybody. it is taking its toll on me. >> she is considerate at risk due to the suspicious circumstances. >> reporter: there's sympathy for keith, of course, but also plenty of skepticism. police following standard procedure have to eliminate him as a suspect. remember, the only physical evidence in the case all discovered and provided by keith
in two photos he snaps, and then gives to authorities. >> wheni do saw the way that phone was pictured in the photograph he sent you, did it make you think perhaps it was staged? >> it looked like it could have been placed there. along with the earbuds being placed on top of the phone screen. >> your wife vanished. but you're also the prime suspect. >> i never felt that. >> you never felt that? >> i didn't. it never occurred to me at first that people would think it was me. >> reporter: to try to clear any cloud of doubt, keith papini demands to take a polygraph test and passes it. >> basically nine days before he was really cleared of suspicion? >> yes. >> why so long? >> we were going through investigating hundreds of tips, looking at cell phone data, cell tower data. >> reporter: the sheriff says keith is not a suspect but that no one has been entirely eliminated from his list. so investigators start chasing down outside tips.
more than 400 of them. but none of them lead to sherri papini's whereabouts. >> no suspects no viable tips. do you begin to lose hope? >> i don't think i ever lost hope. but it was really -- it was eating away at me big-time. >> reporter: out of the blue on thanksgiving morning keith's phone rings. >> i pick it up. it was my wife. screaming in the background. yelling my name. a chp officer said, i need you to be calm, i need you to be calm. >> are you panicked hearing her scream? >> i'm panicked but i'm happy because i -- at this point, it was the first time i've heard her voice. i know she's alive. >> reporter: where was she and how did she get free from her captors? sherri hasn't spoken publicly yet. the account of what happened comes solely from what she told police and her husband. >> did she know the people she was with? >> no. >> did she ever see them? >> i will share with you that
their faces were always covered. i can tell you that there was guns involved. >> reporter: on the day she was found, investigators say they're only able to get the barest nugget from the traumatized sherri. >> which was, two hispanic female adults driving a dark suv. >> two hispanic females in a dark-colored suv in the state of california? not much of a tip. >> no. it would be literally a needle in a hay stack. >> reporter: investigators say those women drove sherri about two and a half hours nonstop that first day, and sherri told them her kidnappers spoke spanish most of the time. >> she literally lived through hell. the thing she say told me that she did -- acted like -- she told me piece of cloth and rolled it up like it was violet. she would rock it.
she is strong. that's the will to survive. >> reporter: that survival instinct was with her the day her captors mysteriously released her. >> she was bound. she had a chain around her waist. she had a bag over her head. they cut something to free her restraint that was holding her into the vehicle. pushed her out. and drove away. >> reporter: sherri has no idea where she and is feels her only chance at rescue is to flag down a motorist on the highway. >> people were driving past her. not stopping. >> reporter: but they were calling 911. >> attention, station 8. unknown medical problem that's going to be northbound i-5, female needs medical attention. >> she is heavily battered. >> it's going to be some sort of an assault. >> reporter: rescue workers rush to the scene. sherri is found in yolo county, 150 miles from her redding home. keith races to the hospital to reunite with his wife.
>> one of the officers kind of like brace med. kind of put his arm around me. he said -- you know, prepare yourself. she's alive. you've just got to be happy. they branded her. i just ran past everybody and i throw open the curtain and she was there. but her poor face. and i just hugged her, i just held her. i felt like i hugged her for like 20 minutes. >> i just need to know, they didn't brand her face, right? >> i will say that, no, it's not on -- not on her face, no. >> reporter: so many questions about this case remain unanswered. near papini's home, neighbors talk of meth houses and police drug raids. and there are other serious concerns. >> there are apparently about 25 registered sex offenders who
live within three miles of right here. >> reporter: but police tell us they checked those leads and found nothing. yet another theory. keith himself and sherri are behind an elaborate hoax. there's been speculation online and skepticism in some media. >> many reports have said that this was a little bit of a attention-seeking kind of couple, sort of a reality show ready to go. >> reporter: keith vdenies it all. >> i think people take cheap shots no matter what. >> reporter: tonight those who are behind this are still out there. and while he's greatful to have her back, keith knows his wife's road to recovery won't be an easy one. >> it's something that i don't know how to deal with and will need somebody that can help her through that from a professional standpoint. >> reporter: a day after she was found, sherri was reunited with her children. >> my wife obviously very emotional, started crying. she said, i'm so happy.
my son, of course, is like, you don't cry when you're happy. my wife said, when you're this happy, you cry. >> reporter: the family finally together again. >> it makes me smile. we're back. we're whole. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm matt gutman in redding, california. next, mariah carey gets really talk from a real housewife on what to do when your relationship heartbreak plays out in front of reality tv cameras. ♪ i should have known right from the start ♪ ♪ you'd go and break my heart get fast sinus relief with vicks sinex and get back in the game. sinex, the congestion, pressure, pain to clear your head... ...medicine. i'm hall of famer jerry west and my life is basketball. but that doesn't stop my afib
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mariah carey's music has gotten her fans through their most devastating heartbreaks. how does the pop diva make it through they are own? a new reality series showcases the singer's personal moments, giving fans a glimpse of what it means to live in mariah's world. >> reporter: mariah carey's voluptuous figure and glass-shattering voice on full display. like at her blockbuster vegas stint at caesar's palace. ♪ also on full display of late, her personal life. her splashy engagement to australian billionaire james packer crumbling in the tabloid headlines. something she spoke openly about with e! >> we see you making wedding plans, obviously things have changed since then. so is it hard now for you to relive those moments, knowing that's hitting the air? >> in life, it's just like you've got to see what's meant
to be. if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. if it's not, ultimately you just have to accept that and move on. >> reporter: this sunday, her new reality show "mariah's world" takes us back in time, showcasing a couple still very much in love. it was designed to give fans vip access to the pop diva's life behind the scenes on tour. >> it's insight into a world people might not see. >> mariah carey is the perfect candidate for a reality show because she is so over the top. the woman walks around in lingerie and sips champagne, she's a diva, of course you want to see a diva in action. >> reporter: the series begins aboard a lavish yacht. >> we did not grow up this way. >> reporter: as her real life is imploding on reality tv. >> don't you come at me with that foolishness! >> it's not good for the whole production. >> reporter: her fans will get to know her 5-year-old twins monroe and moroccan and catch glimpses of mariah coparenting with her second ex-husband nick
cannon. >> she does show a lot of her kids, she posts a lot of them on social media, around the hallidays, in halloween costumes. they by fans are going to be interested to see how she interacts with them on a daily basis. >> reporter: as blushing bride to be in a surreal dress fitting for what would have been her third wedding. the 35-carat engagement ring cost $10 million. despite rumors that packer hated the cameras, carey told e! they were both excited to be on a reality show. >> i'm curious what your fiance james has to say about the cameras around. is he in this a lot? what does he think? >> it's not a lot. he thinks it's good, he's happy i'm doing it. >> reporter: within a few months the couple split. >> mariah and james split last month. >> reporter: she and fiance james packer split. >> things started to go south when they went on vacation together in greece in september. they got into a big fight, decided to take a step back. then in october a report surfaced that the engagement was off. >> reporter: she dodged the issue in an awkward chat with ellen. >> allegedly he didn't want to be in it?
allegedly -- he's it in because i saw it. >> you did. >> yeah. >> that's what i'm saying. it's kind of difficult to talk about at this moment. so i'm just going to compliment you on these decorations once again. because they are fabulous. >> reporter: ramona singer of "the real housewives of new york" -- >> i know i'm a piece of work but now i'm a work in progless. >> reporter: knows the difficulties of living life's trials and tribulations on reality tv. >> your life is described as a ramona-coaster. you don't mind having it all out on display. >> there's nothing i'm ashamed of. i'm very proud of who i am. >> reporter: for the last eight years, ramona has been laughing, crying -- >> i'll be okay. >> reporter: cat fighting her way into everyone's homes. >> hey, hey! >> you know what i'm sick of it. >> reporter: behind the scenes ramona's seemingly perfect 20-year marriage to mario singer
is falling apart in front of bravo's cameras. >> we all go through ups and downs in our lives but we don't have cameras capturing our reactions in realtime. that's got to be painful. >> i remember the pain of taking avery off to college. and the pain of my marriage ending. >> when urunder a microscope like that undergoing all this trauma, do you wish the cameras would go away? >> no, because if i could help women figure out what to do, i mean, i believe in marriage. i believe in trying to work on your marriage. i don't have any regrets. i shared -- i don't want to cry but i shared my life with him for over 20 years. i loved him. i loved him. >> it shows. >> i didn't want to leave until i knew it couldn't work. >> what advice would you give about losing a relationship and having that blow up on the middle of a reality show? >> that's what's going to be painful to watch. >> reporter: maybe not so painful. reports say that perhaps mariah is moving on with brian tanaka, her backup dancer.
>> tanaka does have a crush on her. >> you saw it, he's not leaving that easily. >> reporter: recently pictures surfaced of carey and tanaka fueling rumors. neither responded to our request for comment. >> they were kissing, holding hands, he was picking her up. seems like mariah is rebounding nicely. >> reporter: when you're a celebrity, the prying eyes of the camera are never far away. >> it's like another open book. you know, i think people can learn from the show. >> do you ever feel like the viewers are watching to watch people in turmoil? >> i think if i was just having tea parties every day and sewing, it would be a boring show to watch. they get into watching women and people having this high lifestyle. having these major issues and problems. because then they look back and it's like, gee, my life isn't so bad, you know? >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm juju chang in new york. next --
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finally tonight, it feels like it's been 300 years since ja rule and ashanti were performing together. it's fitting the two have reunited to celebrate the late 18th century. ♪ ♪ not throwing away my shot >> fans have their shot hearing "hamilton" like never before. the broadway musical today releasing a mixtape of their most popular songs performed by some of the industry's biggest stars. the 23-track album featuring usher's rendition of "wait for it." ♪ i'm willing to wait >> "it's quiet uptown" by kelly clarkson. ♪ this quiet uptown." >> and "that would be enough" by alicia keys. ♪ this would be enough >> if that wasn't enough some ticket holders got the opportunity to preview the album
with this live performance by some of the featured artists. ♪ look into your eyes and the sky's the limit i'm helpless ♪ ♪ i'm past patiently waiting >> for those waiting to catch the original musical live, "hamilton" will be taking their wraps to cities like san francisco, los angeles, and washington, d.c. in 2017. ♪ not throwing away my shot >> it was bono who said, music can change the world. because it can change people. thank you for watching abc news. as always, we're online at abcnews.com and o
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