Fired 'New York Times' Editor Jill Abramson Reveals Story Behind Boxing Photo, What Made Her Cry

8:09 AM PST 07/16/2014 by Hilary Lewis
AP Images
Jill Abramson

In an interview with "Cosmopolitan," she also shares her TV picks and offers a brief review of HBO’s “Girls.”

Shortly after she was abruptly fired by The New York Times, Jill Abramson was pictured punching a boxing bag in an Instagram photo that went viral and landed on the cover of the New York Post.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine that was posted online Tuesday night, Abramson says she insisted her trainer take a picture of her with her gloves on, but the photo wasn’t for the press — it was for her kids.

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“My kids were upset, and the loudness of the coverage was surprising,” Abramson explains of the reaction to her firing. “So I arrive at my trainer in Manhattan, where I always went early on Thursdays. He had these boxing gloves, and he said, ‘You need this.’ I said, ‘Take a picture of me.’ I wanted to send it to my kids to see I wasn't at home crying and sitting in a corner. Within a nanosecond, my daughter, Cornelia, had put it on Instagram, and it went viral. The next morning, it was on the cover of the New York Post.”

But she adds that she does enjoy fighting.

“I did the boxing once more after that,” she says. “It feels fantastic.”

Even though Abramson knows about the Post cover, she says that she didn’t read what was written about her firing unless one of her friends alerted her to something she should know.

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Still, she did see the Politico article that ran before she was ousted, claiming that Times staffers were upset with her management style, calling her “stubborn,” “condescending” and “uncaring.” That story, which she calls a “hatchet job,” made her cry, she reveals, but she’s not ashamed to say so.

“I did cry after reading [that] article about me in Politico. I don't regret admitting I did,” she tells Cosmopolitan. “The reason I wanted to do this interview is that I think it is important to try to speak very candidly to young women. The most important advice I would still give — and it may seem crazy because I did lose this job I really loved — you have to be an authentic person. I did cry. That is my authentic first reaction. I don't regret sharing that.”

Similarly, she says she’s not ashamed to say she was fired, but she doesn’t like the word “former.”

“It just sounds icky,” she says.

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Since she’s had some time on her hands, Abramson admits she’s been indulging in her love of the New York Yankees, watching every game and going to a couple of day games.

In addition to baseball, she also likes HBO’s Girls, she tells Cosmopolitan, but she’s disappointed with a couple of aspects of it.

“I love Girls, although I didn't love the last season,” she says. “Marnie has completely fallen apart as a character, although Allison Williams is a good actress.”

She’s also reading the whole New York Times print version every day as well as rereading a couple of novels she read in school: To Kill a Mockingbird and All the King’s Men.

Abramson is making the media rounds, also doing a radio interview on Tuesday night and sitting down with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren and Yahoo’s Katie Couric on Wednesday and Thursday.

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