×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Grace: An unapologetic victims’ advocate

Women's Impact Report 2011: Nancy Grace

When Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter earlier this year, HLN’s Nancy Grace famously told viewers “the devil is dancing” at news of the verdict.

Now it’s Grace who is practicing some fancy footwork.

The former Atlanta prosecutor is following her exhaustive coverage of the trial by competing on this season’s “Dancing With the Stars” — and no one is more surprised at the news than she is.

Anthony’s trial hadn’t even started when Grace got a call from the producers. “I thought it was a joke,” she says.

Grace’s sojourn into sequins and samba caps off a year when she saw the ratings for HLN’s top show soar (+14%) vs. the same period last year, with June delivering 1.5 million total viewers. The day of the Anthony verdict, the show had its best day ever with 2.9 million total viewers.

“I think the media piles on because the media loves to talk about the media,” she says, unfazed by the criticism she received for her prosecutorial approach in covering Anthony’s case. “Obviously what I had to say carried no weight with the jury — and it should not have. It certainly didn’t with O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake. I don’t do my show at night for the media and I’m not doing ‘Dancing With the Stars’ for the media.”

Grace has never made any secret about being a victims’ advocate.

“Ever since 1979 when Keith (Griffin, her fiance) was murdered I have been single-minded about putting bad guys behind bars.” Now a married mother of 3-year-old twins, Grace is also a passionate supporter of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and is giving the group her “DWTS” paycheck.

Her identification with crime victims has earned her legions of fans who helped her three books hit the bestseller lists and just might give her a leg up on “Dancing.” “I feel like Cinderella getting invited to the ball. I don’t know what I’m going to wear, but I’m going. They’re gonna have to throw me off.”

SNAPSHOT
Role model: “My parents”
Career mantra: “I can work harder”
Hobbies: Cooking and reading “I used to like to jog, but I don’t have time for that anymore obviously!”
Philanthropic passion: Named Person of the Year by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “That’s a really big deal to me.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Keke Palmer BlogHer19 Summit

    Keke Palmer Brought to Tears Accepting Truth Teller Award at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit

    Keke Palmer stood surprised and wide-mouthed on the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit stage as she was presented with the Truth Teller Award for her recent acting work — and her viral “sorry to this man” clip. “This means so much,” the multi-hyphenated star softly whispered as she got teary-eyed upon accepting the award. Last week, the [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content