TIME Crime

Abduction Survivor Michelle Knight Forgives Ariel Castro

Michelle Knight was held against her will for over a decade before a dramatic escape, but in a new interview says she forgives her captor, Ariel Castro, who pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts of rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder before committing suicide in prison

Abduction survivor Michelle Knight said Monday that she has forgiven the man who held her captive in a Cleveland home for 11 years before her dramatic escape made national headlines.

“If I did something wrong, even if it was a small thing, I would want somebody to forgive me, so I can forgive him for what he done wrong because that’s the way of life,” Knight said of kidnapper Ariel Castro during an interview on the Today show.

Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole and 1,000 additional years after he pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder. He committed suicide while in prison last year.

“I was saddened by it but also confused at the same time. Like why would he hurt his children like that? Why would he leave them?” Knight said about Castro’s suicide. “He was a human being, and every human being needs to be loved, even though they did something wrong.”

It was a year ago Tuesday that Knight and two other women were discovered after years in captivity. Knight was kidnapped when she was 21. She now goes by the name “Lily” and as written a book about her experience called “Finding Me.”

“Reliving it is the hardest part to do,” she said.

Knight said she and the other women kidnapped by Castro are healing in their own ways, and she doesn’t have a lot of contact with them.

“Sometimes relationships, including friendships, don’t last that long,” she said. “We were just in each other’s life for a short while in time and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get back together.”

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