More than a year after he was abducted, beaten, stripped naked and held for hours inside a “filthy” Los Angeles-area bathroom, actor Joey Capone is breaking his silence on his harrowing ordeal.
Though he was allegedly attacked repeatedly and held without food for more than a day, he says he doesn’t seem himself as a victim.
“I’m a survivor,” Capone said told Good Morning America in an interview that aired Monday. “I think it’s a state of mind. Yeah, that happened. But what’s tomorrow?”
Capone was with actress Daisy McCrackin at her home in South L.A. on May 3, 2017, when they were allegedly kidnapped by Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones and Amber Neal, according to a news release last week from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
Of the abduction itself, Capone recalled on Monday being “grabbed by the collar” and “dragged” outside, down the driveway and then thrown into the back of a car, “where Daisy was already in the backseat.”
Bags were then put over their heads as they were driven away, he said.
Capone said that he was pistol-whipped before being held for ransom in a home in Compton. His captors forced him into a bathroom, he explained, and kept in total darkness. They also put a gun in his mouth more than once, he said.
Authorities said the hostage situation came to an end when McCrackin, perhaps best known for her role in 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection, cut a ransom check for $10,000 to their abductors.
“They said things like, ‘If she doesn’t come through man, I don’t know what I’m going to have to do, I don’t know what’s going to happen to you,’ ” Capone said on GMA.
“He [one captor] whacked me on the head with the gun and then proceeded to stomp on me and give me a pretty good beating,” Capone recounted in his interview.
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At one point he attempted an escape but was quickly recaptured, he said.
“I was seen immediately and given another solid beating and thrown back into the bathroom where one gun was put into my mouth,” he said.
Prosecutors said McCrackin was taken to her home the day after their kidnapping and “she was able to escape and alert police.”
Subsequent investigation led authorities to Jones, Neal and Stewart, who are collectively charged with 17 felony counts including kidnapping, assault with a firearm, grand theft, mayhem, conspiracy and possession for sale of a controlled substance.
A district attorney’s spokesman previously declined to comment to the L.A. Times on the relationship between the abductors and Capone and McCrackin. But Capone said on GMA that it seemed to him McCrackin “had known” one of the captors “in some capacity.”
Bail for Jones and Neal was set at $1 million each, according to prosecutors Stewart’s bail is set at $2.08 million. All three were indicted in June, the Times reports.
Neal was reportedly arrested last week but it was unclear when the others were taken into custody.
Lawyers for the defendants could not be reached for comment on Monday. A pretrial hearing for all three is set for July 23.
Stewart’s attorney said he was innocent, according to GMA.
Capone declined to comment to PEOPLE, and McCrackin has not responded to requests for comment.