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"It wasn't his fault." Michelle Knight says she forgives the man who held her captive for 11 years.

By SHAUNA ANDERSON

Michelle Knight speaking at the interview.

In a spectacular revelation the victim of kidnapper Ariel Castro has said she forgives the man who held her captive in a basement for 11 years raping and torturing her.

“At first I hated him,” said Michelle Knight.

Speaking to a radio host at a High School in Chardon, Ohio it was Michelle Knight’s first interview in the state where she was kidnapped.

The interview was a program of a non-profit organization that raises money to support WomenSafe a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

“But I went through therapy and realized it hadn’t been his fault. He had a disease.”

Michelle Knight, now 32 was kidnapped by Castro at the age of 21 in August 2002.

Castro subsequently kidnapped two other girls Amanda Berry, now 27, in 2003, and Gina de Jesus, now 23, in 2004.

Castro was sentenced to life plus 1000 years.

Knight suffered unimaginable horrors at the hands of Castro, telling police that he had impregnated her at least five times and had induced miscarriages each time through beatings and starvation.

Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus broke out of the house in May 2013.

Knight said it wasn’t until about eighteen months after her rescue from Castro’s home that she reached a breakthrough.

She was able to say his name.

Before that, she had referred to Castro as “that dude.”

At his sentencing hearing in 2013 she told Castro “You took eleven years of my life away and I have gotten it back.”

“You will face hell for eternity”

Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1000 years.

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During her recent interview she told the audience that she was appalled by Castro’s suicide one month into his life sentence.

“I felt very appalled by it, but I understood. I don’t condone what he did.”

She told the interview that when she asked Castro why he had kidnapped her, he told her “I am a sex addict and I cannot control myself.”

Knight said that living in the house was like being a punching bag, “I just thought of myself as a punching bag because that’s all he did to me.”

She has previously told of how Castro treated his victims differently saying that he treated Amanda Berry with favouritism.

“She got clothes, she got blankets, she got everything she wanted… he had a fascination with her. She was the wife type of person. I was the punching bag.” She told CNN.

The audience at Michelle Knight’s recent interview– many of who were domestic violence survivors applauded her as she told them she hoped for the best for Castro’s family.

And she offered them words of encouragement.

“If you’re getting abused,” Knight told the approximately 300 people in attendance, “don’t wait, get help.”

Michelle Knight who has since written a book titled, Finding Me told the women

“I’m a strong and powerful woman. I say what I mean and I don’t take any crap from anybody.”

Knight who has changed her name to Lily Rose Lee said that the kidnapping made her stronger and has allowed her to better know herself.

“The situation (Castro) put me in didn’t define me,” she said. “I choose to live a meaningful life.”

 
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