CNN kept the cameras rolling on Michelle Knight — one of the three young rape victims held captive in a Cleveland, Ohio, house of horrors — as she broke down defending a California woman who says she went through the same thing.
Knight's eyes welled with tears soon into the interview, and her voice started breaking as she related her own experience.
She lashed out at neighbors of the new victim, who questioned the validity of allegations she was forced to marry her alleged captor, Isidro Garcia.
"It’s very hard for her when people are saying bad things about her and saying that she’s lying. You don't know what went through her head," she said, as she apparently started getting overwhelmed. "You don't know what that dude was doing to her."
Even after she started hyperventilating and sobbed, "I need a break!" The camera lingered for another 15 seconds as two women walked up and hugged her.
Soon after that, they put her back on air.
"Let's just start where we were, Michelle, OK?" CNN "New Day" host Kate Bolduan told Knight, who still was breathing heavily. "Just breathe."
"It really hits close to home," Knight said, offering her support to the California woman and urging her to stay strong and ignore her "ignorant" detractors.
CNN said Knight, who is on a tour promoting her book about the ordeal, made the decision to come back on the air after her breakdown.
Knight's tormentor, Arial Castro, was sentenced last August to life in prison — plus 1,000 years — after pleading guilty to kidnapping and abusing Knight and two other girls for nearly a decade until one was able to alert authorities last year.
He later hanged himself
in his cell.
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