Michelle Knight on Dr. Phil: Ariel Castro 'Tied Me up Like a Fish'

Image: Michelle Knight on Dr. Phil: Ariel Castro 'Tied Me up Like a Fish'

Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 09:49 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Michelle Knight, one of three Cleveland women Ariel Castro held captive for a decade, told Phil McGraw she was often "tied up like a fish" while being repeatedly sexually and physically abused.

Excerpts from her interview with McGraw, known on television as Dr. Phil, were released on Monday. The interview will be shown on "Dr. Phil" on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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"I was tied up like a fish," Knight told Dr. Phil, "an ornament on the wall."

Dr. Phil told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday that he was impressed by Knight's determination to survive Castro's abuse.

"It's astounding to me that she had the strength that she did," he told "Anderson Cooper 360." "Now think about this. He chained her to this pole around her neck, put a motorcycle helmet (on her head), strapped it tight, closed the visor and leaves her there for days and days at the time.

"It's cold, it's damp, it's filthy, it smells. She couldn't lie down. There wasn't enough (leeway) in the chain to lie down so she would just lean into it and pass out, eventually and then she would wake back up. She says that she was referred to as the unbreakable one. She fought him every step of the way," he added. "Her goal was to stay alive from one day to the next until she got a chance to get out."


Knight was 21 when she disappeared in 2002. Knight said that Castro initially thought she was a prostitute. Dr. Phil told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he found Knight to be stronger than how she has been portrayed.

"I found Michelle to be very bright, well-spoken and eager, after all of these horrific years, to have her own voice," he said. "People have perceived her, probably based on the information in the original missing person report, as being intellectually disabled. I found her to be anything but that."

Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus escaped Castro's Cleveland home in May when Berry's cries for help were heard by a neighbor who helped her break down the home's front door while Castro was away.

After being sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in August, Castro was found dead in his cell at a prison south of Columbus on Sept. 3.

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