Michelle Hord, a former producer of ABC's Good Morning America, has been left with a massive hole in her heart since 2017. Hord's ex-husband, Neil White, murdered their 7-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, just one day after their divorce was finalized. He suffocated Gabrielle in her own bedroom. Hord is sharing her story in a new memoir The Other Side of Yet: Finding Light in the Midst of Darkness. In a recent interview with E! News' Daily Pop, Hord spoke about how the unthinkable tragedy occurred amid the former couple's "tumultuous divorce."
In the interview, Hord explained that "there was so much friction" between her and White two that she was living in a rental house at the time. On the night of the murder, she recalled getting the news. "I got this call from my nanny with this bloodcurdling scream, and it was clear she was at a crime scene. I went in a little room and shut the door...got on my knees and said 'God, I do not know what I'm walking into, but whatever it is, please just give me the strength to deal with it,'" she recalled.
CBS News reports that on the night the murder, responding officers found White with light slash wounds to his wrist. Gabrielle laid dead in her bed. In 2019, White was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He appeared motionless as his ex-wife read a statement about her grief.
"This convicted felon, this former son, husband, uncle, father and friend, who talked about songs he imagined dancing to with our baby at her wedding, has nonchalantly and unemotionally sealed his fate," Hord said during the sentencing. "He has committed the most heinous and unimaginable act, literally against his own flesh and blood -- an act incomprehensible to anyone who has ever touched the softness of a child's hand or heard a baby laugh."
White isn't mentioned by name in her new book. It was an intentional decision. "I chose not to use his real name in the book," she explained, "because I believe that person no longer exists." But, she hasn't necessarily forgiven him, but she does maintain a relationship with White's mother. The two even attend church services together.
"For me, forgiveness is about someone who is seeking forgiveness, which is not the case," she added. "But more importantly, it's about reconciliation, and so my version of making peace has been to reconnect with his mother, Gabrielle's grandmother, who not only lost a grandchild but had her only child do this to her only grandchild."
She continued: "When this happened, it was clear this was worse than my worst nightmare—who did it, how it happened—and so I felt like there was something in this universe that was trying to take me out. But the defiant, 'Damnit, I'm not going to let that happen' in me said, 'I shall not be moved. Whatever this is, I am not going to let it beat me. I'm not going to let it win.'"