Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus gave their answer to numerous interview requests following their escape from years of captivity last week in Cleveland: thanks, but no thanks. The three, understandably, want their space, at least until the trial of accused kidnapper Ariel Castro is over.
This weekend, Attorney Jim Wooley read a statement to the media on behalf of the three families (printed in full at the Cleveland Plain Dealer), with a message that couldn't be more clear to those seeking on-the-record time with the three victims:
"Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight have asked — in fact, have pleaded — for privacy at this time so that they can continue to heal and reconnect with their families. You all care greatly about their well-being, so please respect this most basic request...there may be a time, at some point in the future, that Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight will want to tell their stories. Let me make this very clear. That will not be while the criminal proceeding is pending and it will not be until they advise us that they are ready to do so."
In the statement, Berry, DeJesus, and Knight each released short messages of thanks to law enforcement and the public gently echoing that request:
Berry: "Thank you so much for everything you're doing and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family."
DeJesus: "I'm so happy to be home and want to thank everybody for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family."
Knight: "Thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. I am healthy, happy and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time."
Meanwhile, alleged kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro's brothers have given an interview to CNN, where they address their own initial detainment by police (they were later released, based on the stories of the three victims). Pedro and Onil Castro both say they had no clue what their brother was up to, and worry that their initial identification as suspects will, in the public's eye, connect them to their brother's alleged actions forever. Here's Pedro:
"I couldn't never think of doing anything like that. If I knew that my brother was doing this ... I would not be, not -- in a minute, I would call the cops because that ain't right...But yeah, it's going to haunt me down because people going to think, yeah, Pedro got something to do with this and Pedro don't have nothing to do with this. If I knew, I would have reported it, brother or no brother."
As the Atlantic Wire explained earlier this week, other members of the Castro family have come forward since Ariel's arrest to fill in some of the details of the family's apparently troubled history.