The prison worker accused of helping two convicted murderers escape a New York prison has claimed she was sexually assaulted by one of them.
In an exclusive jailhouse interview with the Today show, Joyce Mitchell said that she acted out of fear when she helped Richard Matt and David Sweat escape Clinton Correctional Facility in June.
"I'm not the monster that everybody thinks I am," she told Matt Lauer.
The 51-year-old married mother said that while she flirted with the two men before their escape, she was not in love with them - and said that any sexual contact with Matt was against her will.
She wiped away tears as she claimed he kissed her and wanted her to commit a sexual act on him. When she refused, he forced her, she claimed.
But she admitted that she did flirt with the men and was vulnerable to their attention.
"I was going through a time where I didn't feel like my husband loved me anymore," she said. "I was going through a depression, and I guess they saw my weakness. And that's how it all started.
"Their attention made me feel good."
After the two men escaped the prison on June 6, Mitchell was allegedly supposed to meet them to drive them away, but instead she checked herself into hospital.
Three weeks after their escape, 45-year-old Matt was killed by authorities and 34-year-old Sweat was injured and captured near the Canadian border. He pleaded not guilty to escape and contraband charges in August.
"I deserve to be punished," she said. "But, you know, people need to know that I was only trying to save my family.'
She said she worried about the safety of her husband, Lyle. The men also asked where her mother and son lived, she said.
Mitchell added: "I am so sorry for everything that everyone went through because of me. I never, never wanted this to ever happen."
She said: "I'm not the monster that everybody thinks I am... Everybody tells me I'm way too nice."
Watch Below: Joyce Mitchell's Husband Visits Her in Jail