Michelle Knight, one of the three women kidnapped and held prisoner for more than a decade in Cleveland, isn't sure she'll watch the Lifetime movie about her ordeal, The Plain Dealer reported. Instead, she is moving on with her life. "I prefer not to put myself in a backwards spiral," she told the newspaper. "You've got to take the bad in life and replace it with something good."
Ariel Castro was found guilty in 2013 of holding Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina De Jesus captive in the basement of his Cleveland home and subjecting them to horrific abuse. Castro pled guilty to more than 900 counts including kidnapping, rape, and aggravated murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years. But just weeks after his sentencing, Castro committed suicide by hanging himself in his Ohio jail cell.
Despite testimony that Knight suffered the most severe abuse at Castro's hands, she was the only victim to confront him in court. At his sentencing hearing, Knight told Castro that his hell was just beginning. "From this moment on, I will not let you define me or affect who I am."
Knight has made good on her pledge to her former captor, staying positive despite everything that happened to her. She changed her name to Lilly Rose Lee, now only using her birth name in public appearances, and she is the middle of a tour for her book, Finding Me, which tells the story of her imprisonment and return to the real world.
Hers is a really sad story, and it's remarkable how much she has managed to reclaim her life. She's estranged from her birth family, and was a single mother at the time of her abduction, but doesn't speak publicly about her son, who was adopted while she was still in captivity. Since escaping from Castro and his prison, she's gone through intensive therapy, and has traveled extensively, trying to help other trauma victims and families of missing children.
"My main goal is to keep hope alive for the missing and the voiceless," she told The Plain Dealer. She also didn't speak much about her relationship with Berry and De Jesus, saying only that their being together reminds them of what they all went through. The other women have a book scheduled for release later in April, The Plain Dealer reported.
The Lifetime movie, titled Cleveland Abduction, stars Taryn Manning of Orange is the New Black as Knight, and it is scheduled to air on April 25.
It's hard not to root for good things to happen in Knight's future: She told The Plain Dealer her plans include one day opening her own restaurant, getting married, and having kids. But most inspirational is Knight's desire to do good in the world, telling the newspaper, "I see myself helping more people."
Images: Getty Images (3)