Amanda Berry, one of the women abducted and held for ten years in Cleveland, made her first public appearance on stage with Nelly.
Amanda Berry, one of the three women held captive for ten years in a Cleveland home, made her first public appearance following her captor's plea of guilty, at a concert featuring Nelly. She appeared on stage with the rapper and was invited back at the end of his set.
Nelly at the 2013 CMT Music Awards, Nashville.
Her abductor, Ariel Castro, pleaded guilty to kidnap and rape charges on Friday 26th, Berry appearance came the following day. She appeared on stage at the Cleveland RoverFest with her family and smiled to the audience, although she did not address them.
Berry had been invited to the festival by radio DJ Shane French because she had "10 years of partying to make up for". Speaking to the Associated Press, he claimed to have no idea she was listening and was surprised when she appeared at security. Her family later revealed to him that they are regular listeners.
Shane asked Berry if she would go up on stage but she initially refused. She acquiesced when French agreed to accompany her. Her appearance was greeted by an overwhelming response from the crowd with applauded and cheered her. According to French "she was pretty overwhelmed by the response that the crowd gave her" and that she "seemed to be having a great time".
Nelly at the BET Networks 2013 New York Upfront, held at the Lincoln Center.
Castro abducted Berry when she was 16 years old, she was imprisoned along with two captured girls Gina DeJesus (14 when she was abducted) and Michelle Knight (20 at the time of kidnapping). Their families were led to assume the worst when their children never returned, despite being close to home, and only found out in May (when the women escaped) that they were alive.
French respected Berry's right to remain silent on her story. He did not invite her on to his talk show, simply saying: "I figured that when she wants to tell her story, she'll make the arrangements, and it would have been pointless to even ask."
Nelly at the 2011 BET Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A.