One of three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade made her first public appearance at a concert featuring the rapper Nelly a day after her abductor pleaded guilty to kidnap and rape charges.
Amanda Berry showed up at the daylong RoverFest concert in Cleveland on Saturday night, walking on stage with her family and waving at the cheering crowd. Wearing sunglasses and dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt, Berry smiled broadly while acknowledging the applause, but she didn’t address the crowd. Nelly called Berry back to the stage after his music set.
The appearance came a day after Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, pleaded guilty to 937 counts in a deal that will send him to prison for life without parole, plus 1,000 years.Shane French, the host of the syndicated talk radio show Rover’s Morning Glory on WMMS in Cleveland, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Sunday that he was surprised when Berry showed up at the annual festival. French, who goes by the name Rover on radio, said he had issued an impromptu invitation on his show a few weeks ago but didn’t know she was listening.
“I just said that she had 10 years of partying to make up for and she should come,” French said.
French said Berry at first refused to go on stage but then agreed and asked if he would go with her.
“She didn’t say why she decided to come, but some of her family members told me they listen to my show every day and had been to RoverFest in the past,” French said.
He said a couple of the women with Berry cried, overcome by the crowd’s cheers for Berry.