One of the three women held captive in a Cleveland house before escaping last year said she forgives the man who kidnapped and tortured her for nearly a decade.
Michelle Knight, interviewed Monday on NBC's "Today" show, said Ariel Castro deserves forgiveness because she'd want to be forgiven if she did wrong, and "that's the way of life."
She added, "he is a human being and every human being needs to be loved," even if he did wrong.
In August 2013, at Castro's sentencing hearing, Knight read a victim impact statement. The Christian Science Monitor reported that she said that she missed her son, who was born before her captivity, and wondered if she would ever see him alive again.
“I looked inside my heart and I would see my son, and I cried every night. I was so alone,” she said. “Days never got shorter, days turned into nights, nights turned into days, years turned into eternity.”
She addressed Castro directly, telling him he was a hypocrite for attending church services every Sunday and then “going home to torture” the women afterward.
“I spent 11 years in hell, and now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all of this that happened, and you will face hell in eternity. You will die a little every day as you think about 11 years and atrocities you inflicted on us,” she said. “I can forgive you, but I can’t ever forget.”
She added, “Writing this statement gave me strength to be a stronger woman and knowing there is more good than evil.”
This Tuesday is the anniversary of the escape from the house by Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. Knight, 33, said she doesn't see much of the other two women, saying "we're all now living in our own way."
Knight — who has a book coming out Tuesday — said she's a singer who just recorded a song, and she's also training to be a boxer.
The 53-year-old Castro pleaded guilty in August to hundreds of charges and committed suicide in prison.
Knight said in the interview that she was surprised when Castro killed himself, wondering "why would he hurt his children like that?"
The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004. Berry was 14, DeJesus was 16 and Knight was 20. They were rescued from Castro's run-down house May 6, 2013, after Berry broke through a screen door.
Berry and DeJesus are collaborating with two Washington Post reporters on a book due out next year. Charles Ramsey, the man credited with helping the women escape from the house, also has written a book.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.