Michelle Knight, Name Changed, Forgives Captor Ariel Castro (Video)

Monday, 05 May 2014 12:51 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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"Lillian Rose Lee," aka Michelle Knight, one of the three women who survived Ariel Castro's Cleveland house of horrors, said this week she forgives the man who held her captive for more than a decade.

"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, 33, told "Today's" Savannah Guthrie Monday.

Knight, who is releasing a memoir called "Finding Me," also announced recently she has legally changed her name to "Lillian Rose Lee."

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"Sometimes in life you have a dark past that makes you who you are," she said in an exclusive "Dateline" interview over the weekend. "But it doesn't define who you are. It just makes you stronger."

Knight was just 21 when Castro abducted her in 2002. He eventually took two more captives — Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus — and kept all three women locked in his Cleveland home for years as he regularly tortured, beat, and raped them.

Tuesday marks the year anniversary in which a neighbor heard Berry's screams and helped her escape. Police later found Knight and DeJesus inside the home.

Castro was arrested and sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in August. He was later found hanging in his prison cell the following month.

Knight says the news of Castro's suicide upset her.

"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?" she told Guthrie. "He was a human being, and every human being needs to be loved, even though they did something wrong."


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