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Update On The Cleveland  Kidnapping Victims

Update On The Cleveland Kidnapping Victims


Airdate: 07/10/2013

Michelle Knight just showed the world what resilience looks like, but behind her courageous smile there’s a heartbreaking family drama.

The new issue of People magazine reports that 32-year-old Michelle is estranged from her family and living on her own. She's refusing her mother's repeated attempts to see her.

"She was having problems with her family even before she was kidnapped," said People magazine's Julie Dam.

Michelle's mother, Barbara filed a missing persons report when Michelle vanished in 2002, but police say they dropped the case when they lost contact with her.

We're also learning more about Amanda Berry. She’s planning to home school her six-year-old daughter, Jocelyn whose father is accused kidnapper Ariel Castro.

Amanda Berry said in the YouTube video, "I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends."

Last month, over Father's Day weekend, Amanda took little Jocelyn to visit her extended family in Clarktown, Tennessee, the place where she had been happiest when she was a child.

"They went mudding, which is four wheeling through the mud, and they got to bathe in the creek, and it was just a wonderful escape from what they'd been through in Cleveland," said Dam.

As for Gina DeJesus, who said only a few words in the now famous YouTube video, she's struggling the most, according to People magazine.

Dam said, "Gina had a Fourth of July cookout at her family's home, and she was obviously very happy to be there with her family. She was very comfortable with her fmaily, but sources say she's still very tentative with other people, that she doesn't like looking people in the eye for very long."

The women shot their video under the guidance of Hennes Paynter Crisis Communications. The company tells INSIDE EDITION, Amanda and Michelle spoke from their own handwritten notes that were not edited by anyone.  

The Cleveland survivors could have broken their silence in an interview with any of the big names in the news business, but they chose to speak out on YouTube in their own way.

Paula Deen also took to YouTube when she wanted to apologize for her use of the N word. She said, “I beg for your forgiveness.”

INISIDE EDITION spoke to CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell about this new trend. "They chose their own path here, which is to post a video, read their statements, and they don't want to do interviews. They want to try and reshape their lives."

"If you look very closely at the entire message, it's very positive. They don't mention the man who held them captive for nearly a decade." O'Donnell said, "They talk about reclaiming their lives, and I think that's incredibly courageous."


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