What Life Is Like Today For Kathy Trant, The 9/11 Widow Whose Spending Spree Sparked Outrage (VIDEO)

09/02/2014 11:50 am ET
  • OWN

On Sept. 11, 2001, Dan Trant left his home on Long Island and arrived at his office on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. He was in the North Tower when the first plane struck the building below his office that morning, and immediately called his wife, Kathy. He told her he loved her and to take care of their three children. That was the last time Kathy spoke to her husband.

Dan was one of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks that day, and Kathy's whole life was shattered. The homemaker struggled with her grief and her new life as a widow. That's when she received approximately $4.2 million from the government's Victims' Compensation Fund, along with an estimated $300,000 in charitable donations. But what Kathy ended up doing with the money soon sparked national outrage.

As she struggled with her overwhelming grief, Kathy went on a shopping spree of epic proportions. She bought hundreds of pairs of designer shoes, countless designer dresses and purses, completely renovated her kitchen, upgraded her home's furniture and even paid for her friends' plastic surgery, including breast reductions, eye lifts and Botox injections.

"After I lost my husband, I had no control," Kathy told Oprah in 2005. "The spending filled the void."

Even Kathy knew that her shopping addiction couldn't fill the void for very long. Today, her once-lavish life looks much different than it did a decade ago, as she tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?". The first major change she made? Selling her spacious New York home and moving into an apartment in Florida.

"I just couldn't live on Long Island in the same house anymore," Kathy says. "It was too big of a house and it brings back too many memories... I just had to move on and start a whole new life."

Kathy says she gave away many of her designer clothes to Goodwill and insists that her shopping addiction is under control. "I go shopping every now and then, but not compulsively," she says.

Looking back at herself on "The Oprah Show" in 2005, Kathy says, is still painful. "I was so lost, so sad," she says. "I had shame. That wasn't the person I wanted to be. It was a very difficult time in my life."

Though she began making positive changes in her life after "Oprah," Kathy suffered a major setback in 2008 when her kids left for college.

"I fell apart. I said, 'I've done my job.' That's what Danny asked me to do when he called me when he was dying. He said he wanted me to just take care of the children and be strong," Kathy says. "But I didn't want to live anymore. I tried taking my life."

After her suicide attempt, Kathy, with the support of her children, was able to get her life back on track.

"With therapy, getting on the right medications, getting off the wrong medications, my children being there for me... that made me realize that life can go on," Kathy says. "Things can get better, and they are OK."

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

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