The rapper Nelly invited Clevland abductee Amanda Berry on stage at RoverFest 2013 to let her know he found her courage inspiring.
An audibly starstruck Nelly has spoken about his experiences having met one of the three women who was abducted and held for ten years in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, 27, was sixteen years old when she disappeared on her way home. She had accepted a ride from Ariel Castro; a man who abducted her, and kept her locked in his house where he beat and raped her repeatedly during her horrific imprisonment.
Nelly Found Amanda Berry "Inspiring."
Speaking to BBC Radio 5's Up All Night programme, the 'Hot In Herre' singer Nelly explained why he decided to invite Berry on stage with him during his RoverFest performance. "I wanted to show her that I appreciate her courage and let her know how inspiring she was," he said to presenter Rhod Sharp and suggested that she had helped him learn a lesson: "Whatever you thought may be going wrong in your life.one day you may smile again," adding "I just wanted to tell her thank you."
Sharp wondered how Berry managed to be so "sweet" and natural in public, especially the day after her captor, Castro, was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, plus 1,000 years. According to The Guardian, the women did not attend court but have said in a statement that they were relieved by the conviction and are looking forward to the end of the legal proceedings.
Nelly admired Berry's resilience, having been put through hell: "To have a smile on her face after ten years of who-can-imagine[...]it takes a lot ofcourage that I don't think a lot of people understand."
Berry, who was the one who managed to call for help and phone the police, was held alongside Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who have seemingly found it less easy to tackle the difficult task of falling back into the rhythm of normal society than Berry has, despite all three having thanked the public for their emotional and financial support in the wake of their ordeal. DeJesus' mother said, "I am excited for her [Berry]. I am so proud of her. I'm glad that she's out and about, and this is what these girls need."
Nelly ended the interview on a high: "I'm just happy that ten years later she wanted to come to a Nelly concert," he said laughing.