Michelle Knight Says Ariel Castro Kidnapped & Tortured Women Because of His 'Disease'

Michelle KnightThe world was shocked when three young women who had been missing for a decade were found alive in the Cleveland, Ohio, home of their captor, Ariel Castro. The women, including Michelle Knight, who had been kidnapped at 21 and was the first victim, were rescued last year after one of them, Amanda Berry, managed to escape. Now Michelle Knight, who has changed her name to Lilly, is speaking out about her feelings about Castro. They aren't exactly what you might think. Knight says that after a year of therapy, she has forgiven Castro and said what he did to her and the others wasn't his fault and that he had a "disease."


Knight spoke to a live audience at a high school in Chardon, Ohio. She said at first she "hated" Castro but that after lots of therapy, she realized "it hadn't been his fault. He had a disease." She also says she had a breakthrough and was able to forgive him.

She gives some chilling insight into why Castro kidnapped the girls. She says she asked him point-blank why he had done this to her and Castro said:

I am a sex addict and I cannot control myself.

Amazingly, Knight feels she's a stronger, better person now after what she went through:

I'm a strong and powerful woman. I say what I mean and I don't take any crap from anybody. The situation [Castro] put me in didn't define me. I choose to live a meaningful life.

Here we have the major difference between Knight and Castro. While Castro may have indeed had a sex addiction, he chose to use that addiction to torture three innocent women for a decade. Knight, on the other hand, has every reason to hate Castro and to curse what happened to her life, to be bitter, depressed, distrusting, and to hole up in her house crying for years if she wants to.

Instead, she chooses to live a meaningful life and help others.

Castro did have that free will. He chose not to use it.

Knight has gone through something more horrific than the vast majority of us will thankfully ever experience. She gets to choose how she moves on and what makes her soul a bit lighter. If she chooses to forgive Castro, and to believe his "disease" drove him, then good for her. Whatever helps her move on with her life is the best course of action for her.

Ruminating every day on what an evil animal (not to insult animals) Castro is would probably only do her more harm.

Knight is a truly amazing inspiration. Imagine how much better this world would be if we could all forgive such evil and if we all used terrible events to inspire us to help others. Wow, there would be no wars! Michelle for president!

Could you forgive?


Image via Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

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