Amanda Berry, one of the three women held captive in a Cleveland basement for nearly a decade, made a surprise appearance over the weekend at a local music festival where she was cheered by her hometown crowd.
"I want you to give this person a bigger round of applause and cheer than me, anyone on the show, any of the acts that are here," WMMS radio host Rover told the audience Saturday at Cleveland's RoverFest 2013. "I'm going to bring out a family that you probably know. Give it up for Amanda Berry!"
Berry, 27, appeared on stage to cheers and applause and was later serenaded by rapper Nelly.
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"I told her she had a little bit of time to make up on the partying and you guys would help her out tonight," Rover said.
Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were freed in May after a neighbor heard Berry's screams for help and came to her aid. The trio had been kidnapped separately, kept in Ariel Castro's basement for a decade, and repeatedly raped and tortured.
Castro, 53, accepted a plea deal Friday to avoid the death penalty
. He pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence without parole plus 1,000 years.
Berry, DeJesus, and Knight released a thank you video earlier this month
. It was the women's first public statements on camera since their rescue.
"First and foremost, I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family, my friends," Berry says in the video. "It's been unbelievable. I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal. Everyone who has been there to support us has been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness. I am getting stronger each day and having my privacy has helped immensely."
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