Hennes Paynter Communications, the Cleveland PR firm representing the three victims in that city's high profile kidnapping and rescue since May, produced and released a video of the women July 9, each thanking the public for support in recovering their lives.
The video, immediately and widely picked up by U.S. media, is the first appearance and statement by all three women since their dramatic rescue May 6 drew widespread attention. One of the victims, Amanda Berry, has appeared in photographs since the incident. "It's been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness," said Berry, reading from a statement in the video.
Gina DeJesus, responding to a question from an off-camera interviewer in the video, thanked financial donors for support. Michelle Knight read from a statement that said: "I may have been through hell and back, but I'm strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face."
James Wooley, attorney for the women, brought in HPC in May. The firm filmed the video on July 2.
Berry asked that the public continue to give the women their privacy and "give us time to have a normal life."