(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/HennesPaynterComm)
Just one day after Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus at least 1,000 more years, one of his victims, Amanda Berry, was publicly hailed by rapper Nelly and his fans at a beer festival in Cleveland on Saturday.
"I told her she had a little bit of time to make up on the partying and you guys would help her out tonight," said syndicated radio personality Shane "Rover" French in welcoming her on stage at Roverfest on Saturday. Roverfest is an annual beer-drinking festival and concert that celebrates all-things-Rover.
In May, Berry, 27, and two other women, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, were rescued after they went missing separately for nearly a decade. They were discovered by neighbors tied up and alive in Castro's house located in a residential neighborhood south of downtown Cleveland.
Reacting to Berry who initiated the escape, popular rapper Nelly thanked her for the strength she showed after being held captive by Castro who repeatedly raped her and fathered a daughter with her.
"Stay strong Cleveland. I know you strong after everything you've been through. Shout out to Amanda Berry too…that's how you tell the pulse of the city by the people that live there," said Nelly as Berry made her way onto the stage with him.
"And you know what? Since they're up here right now I wanna make sure we get a chance to thank you because I know it's a long time and I can't even imagine the type of strength and the type of courage that it took to really keep it going. So for that I commend you and thank you," he noted.
He then told her to stay with him on stage as he launched into a rendition of his popular "Just a Dream" song that has been viewed more than 151 million times on YouTube. Berry danced and mouthed a few words as the audience sang along.
Another one of Castro's victims, Gina DeJesus, also had a little bit of joy and privacy to her life as a company called Budget 1 Fence, donated a 6ft privacy fence worth about $4,000 to her family that was completed on Sunday.
"I really wanted it. It meant a lot to me," said DeJesus whose family home has been attracting a lot of unwanted attention since her return home.
On Friday, Castro was charged with 977 counts, including aggravated murder on suspicion of aborting the pregnancy of one of the women. He agreed to plead guilty to 937 counts. He is expected to go to prison for life and at least 1,000 more years after he is sentenced on August 1.