Cleveland Kidnapping Victims Break Their Silence
For the first time since their rescue from being held hostage in the Cleveland house of horrors, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight break their silence in a thank you video. INSIDE EDITION reports.
For the first time, we're hearing from the three young women held against their will for a decade, locked inside the Cleveland house of horrors.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight look remarkably healthy and happy considering they were rescued just two months ago.
Amanda Berry is the first to speak on the video.
"I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends. It's been unbelievable," said Berry.
INSIDE EDITION asked Tonya Reiman, author of The Power of Body Language, to analyze the video. Reiman told our Paul Boyd, "When she talks about having a normal life, you have to really watch what she does. Her eyebrows go up, her neck is down, which is a protective barrier. Then, her one shoulder lifts up and that's an indicator of uncertainty."
Here's what we've learned about the video. It was shot on July 2nd and posted on YouTube at midnight Tuesday. It was recorded at a lawyer's office overlooking the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The museum can be seen just over the women's shoulders in the video.
Amanda Berry gave birth in captivity to a little girl who is now six years old. The child's father is Ariel Castro who is accused of holding the women hostage in his Cleveland home.
Berry said, "I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal. Everyone who has been there to support us, it has been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness. I am getting stronger each day and having my privacy has helped immensely."
Gina DeJesus sat next to her parents in the video—her father, Felix and her mother, Nancy. They wanted to thank everyone for the $1 million in donations sent to their charity, the Cleveland Courage Fund.
Gina said, "I would say thank you for the support."
Boyd asked Reiman, "Gina DeJesus has mom and dad on both sides of her. Does that tell us anything?"
"Well, she's protected now. She has the two most important people around her and she's protected. For the most part, you see a very stoic expression until she's asked, 'What would you like to say?' Then you see a genuine smile. You see a real smile that shines through," said Reiman.
Last on the tape is Michelle Knight, who said, "I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face, and with my head held high."
Prosecutors say Castro beat Michelle Knight so badly she had to undergo facial reconstructive surgery. Inside the house of horrors, Castro allegedly got Knight pregnant several times, then beat her in the stomach to induce a miscarriage.
Reiman said, "When you're looking at Michelle, you realize she's been through probably the hardest piece. She's been there the longest. She had a lot of trauma while she was there. She's angry at the situation and that means she's on the next step to healing."
The bond between the three hostages is clear in the video.
Knight said, "Walking hand-in-hand with my best friend, I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situtation."
On INSIDE EDITION's Facebook page, viewers are embracing the trio.
One viewer posted: "I think these women are amazing!"
A story of resilence in the face of unspeakable cruelty.
Amanda Berry said, "It's been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness."
Gina DeJesus said, "Thank you for the support."
Michelle Knight said, "Thank you for all your prayers. I am looking forward to my brand new life."
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