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[VIDEO] Cleveland kidnap victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight speak on camera for first time

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   July 9, 2013 at 3:32 AM   |   Comments

July 9 (UPI) -- Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have released a video thanking the public for supporting them in the aftermath of their captivity. The video marks the first time any of the women -- allegedly raped and helped captive by Cleveland resident Ariel Castro for 10 years -- have spoken publicly since their May rescue.

According to the video's caption, the three women were filmed on July 2 with the aid of their attorneys, a public relations firm and a social media strategist -- all working pro bono.

Here are the timestamps for each speaker:

:00 - :33 Amanda Berry (Survivor)
:43 - :47 Gina DeJesus (Survivor)
:49 - 1:08 Felix DeJesus (Gina's Father)
1:09 -- 1:43 Nancy Ruiz (Gina's Mother)
1:48 -- 3:30 Michelle Knight (Survivor)

“I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and with my feet firmly on the ground,” Knight, 32, says in the video.

“Walking hand in hand with my best friend, I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation," she adds.

Berry, 27, asks for continued privacy as she recovers.

"It has been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness, I'm getting stronger each day and having my privacy has helped immensely," she says.

“Amanda, Gina and Michelle wanted to say thank you to people from Cleveland and across the world, now that two months have passed,” Knight's attorney, Kathy Joseph, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“People are recognizing them now as they go about in public, so they decided to put voices and faces to their heartfelt messages," Joseph added.

Follow @KateStan and @UPI on Twitter.
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