Kim Kardashian had advocated for the release of Cyntoia Brown

By Chris Harris
January 07, 2019 04:55 PM
Lacy Atkins/The Tennessean/USA TODAY NETWORK

Several of Cyntoia Brown’s celebrity supporters are praising the move by Tennessee’s outgoing governor to grant clemency to the 30-year-old former sex trafficking victim who was serving a life sentence for killing a man who hired her for sex when she was 16.

Kim Kardashian, who helped reignite interest in Brown’s case through her social media platforms in 2017, thanked Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday for ordering Brown’s early release.

Kardashian West simply wrote “Thank you Governor Haslam” — words she bookended with clapping hand emojis.

Actress Alyssa Milano also thanked Haslam on Twitter for ending Brown’s controversial incarceration.

“Yes!!! Cyntoia Brown is granted full clemency!!,” Milano Tweeted. “Thank you, Governor Haslam! Thank you!”

Jada Pinkett Smith also took up Brown’s cause and also, also expressed her gratitude on Twitter, writing, “THANK YOU Governor @BillHaslam!!!!”

Other celebs who advocated for Brown’s release including singer Rihanna and actress Ashley Judd.

Brown’s planned release date is Aug. 7, according to a statement from Haslam’s office.

Cyntoia Brown
Shelley Mays/The Tennessean via AP

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The decision to grant Brown an early release comes a month after the state’s supreme court ruled she would have to remain behind bars for at least 51 years.

“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance,” reads a statement from Brown. She will remain on parole for 10 years after she steps out of prison.

Brown has long maintained she was forced to be an underage prostitute by a boyfriend who then took the money that she would make. She claimed that after Johnny Mitchell Allen, a 43-year-old real estate agent, solicited sex from her in Aug. 2004, she shot him in self-defense because she saw him reach for a gun while the two were in bed.

Prosecutors have argued she was motivated by her desire to rob Allen. She was tried and convicted as an adult.

Brown had argued in previous appeals that her lifelong imprisonment was unconstitutional under a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which found that juveniles could not receive mandatory life sentences without parole.

The decision comes as Haslam prepares to leave office.

Brown’s case served as the subject a 2011 PBS documentary.