Three Cleveland Kidnappings Victims Speak Out for the First Time

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The three women who were kidnapped by a Cleveland man more than a decade ago have come forward to give their first public statements since being rescued back in MayInstead of the usual TV interview with someone like Anderson Cooper or the Today show, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight all made their first public appearance via a YouTube video that was posted late on Monday night. The short video was prepared by a PR firm the families hired to handle their media coverage.

In the video, all three women appear healthy and happy and speak in their own words. They each gave a short statement thanking the people who have offered support and money to help them get their lives back together, and for allowing them their privacy over the last two months. More than $1 million has been donated to the Courage Fund, which was established to help the three women, and daughter of Amanda Berry, who was born during her captivity.

The man being held responsible for their kidnapping, Ariel Castro, has been charged with 329 counts of kidnapping, rape, assault, and murder (for causing the women to have at least two miscarriages) and is currently awaiting trial.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.