- The Washington Times - Monday, October 20, 2014

Michelle Knight, one of three Cleveland-area women kidnapped and held hostage for more than a decade by Ariel Castro, said she now forgives her captor.

“At first I hated him,” she said Sunday at a speaking event sponsored by a domestic violence shelter group, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. “But I went through therapy and realized it hadn’t been his fault. He had a disease.”

Ms. Knight, who now goes by “Lilly,” was rescued on May 6, 2013, along with Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. She’s since written a book, “Finding Me,” about her ordeal, which began when she was lured inside Castro’s home by a promise of a puppy for her son in 2002, when she was just 21 years old.

She spent the next years enduring horrific abuse. Castro treated her as a sex slave, beating her so much that she miscarried five times.

“I just thought of myself as a punching bag because that’s all he did to me,” Ms. Knight said, The Plain Dealer reported.

But now she has forgiven him, she said.

“For me, it’s holding on to hatred that will control your life,” Ms. Knight said. “And if you hold on to it, you’re going to condemn your life to hell. And I choose to forgive that person for all the wrongdoing that they have done to me. And for the people who didn’t look for me, I forgive them, too. It wasn’t their fault.”

Castro, 53, who hanged himself in prison one month into a life sentence for the kidnappings and rapes, told his victims during captivity that he was a sex addict and “cannot control myself,” Ms. Knight said.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide