Cleveland Kidnapping Survivor Reveals Cover of Memoir About Rebuilding Her Life After Torture

Michelle Knight will discuss her addiction battle, the truth about her relationship with Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and how she has adjusted after captivity


Since 2013, Michelle Knight has been free from the chains and torture she endured for more than a decade with fellow kidnapping survivors Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.

But navigating her freedom has been filled with multiple struggles, which she plans to recount in her new book: Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After the Cleveland Kidnappings.

Knight — who changed her name to Lillian Rose Lee — will discuss her battle with addiction, the truth about her relationship with Berry and DeJesus and how she has adjusted to life after escaping Ariel Castro’s house of horrors.

The book will be published on May 1, days before the fifth anniversary of the trio’s escape. The cover is exclusively debuted above.

“Michelle shares how she dared to emerge into life again, rebuilding and re-creating her true self,” says Mauro DiPreta, vice president and publisher of Hachette Books. “And [she] offers her thoughts on how anyone who has suffered greatly can learn to find new meaning and purpose.”

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This will be Knight’s second book. In her first, New York Times‘ bestseller Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed, she opened up about how a troubled childhood helped her handle some of her darkest days in captivity.

“It was a difficult [childhood], but it’s no longer me now,” she exclusively told PEOPLE in 2014. “I learned to cope with certain things that happened to me when I was younger, and it helped me to survive this incident that I went through.”

Michelle KnightDeborah Feingold Photography
Deborah Feingold

Knight was kidnapped in August 2002, when she was 20. Along with the other two women, she escaped from Castro’s home on May 6, 2013, after Berry pushed out a door and called for help.

Knight has since been the most public of the three survivors, including making a visit to Castro’s neighborhood before his house was demolished three months after the women got free.

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Castro, 53, pleaded guilty in 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison. A month into his sentence, he was found dead in his cell. His hanging death was ruled a suicide.

Since then, Knight has tried to live life to the fullest. Now 36, she’s an artist, author, speaker and a survivor, according to her bio.

She is passionate about inspiring others, helps animals while volunteering at local shelters, creates art and advocates for change so that others are safe from the experience she has overcome.

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