Portrait of Leanna Taylor, who sat for an interview with the AJC and Channel 2 Action News in Birmingham. (AJC image)
Photo: Branden Camp
Photo: Branden Camp

Justin Ross Harris’ ex-wife: 'When you have experienced every parent’s worst nightmare . . .’ 

Leanna Taylor is the ex-wife of Ross Harris and the mother of Cooper, the 22-month-old boy Ross Harris left to die in his SUV in 2014. After 2½ years of silence, Taylor had an extended interview last week with the AJC and Channel 2 Action News. 

» See the full interview on MyAJC

» Listen to Season 2 of the AJC podcast “Breakdown”

On whether she wants to have more children: “I want that because I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and I enjoyed being Cooper’s mom very much.  ... But it is a difficult thing to think about. It’s scary. 

“When you have experienced every parent’s worst nightmare, to think about having another child and that fear of something happening again and that constant worry of wanted to keep them safe — for me it’s going to be 10 times worse than for the average parent.”

» Photos: Key moments in the Ross Harris case

On the public’s perceptions of her: “One thing that’s bothered me is that people keep making comments, ‘Why does she keep defending Ross? Why does she keep defending him?’

“It’s not about me defending Ross. ... I have to tell the truth. And I can’t sit up there and say he was a bad father. I can’t sit there and say he was annoyed by having a child, because that’s not what I saw. And I can’t help that that’s not what I saw. What I saw was a very engaged, involved father who wanted to be with his child, who wanted to spend time with his son.”

Read more on the Harris case:

» Ross Harris found guilty: 'He has malice in his heart absolutely'

» Harris sentenced to life without parole

» Full coverage of the Justin Ross Harris murder case

The AJC’s full interview is posted on our premium website, myajc.com.

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