Kidnap Victim Michelle Knight Changes Her Name

Now she's Lillian Rose Lee

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 2, 2014 11:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Michelle Knight is now Lillian Rose Lee. The Cleveland kidnapping victim says she's changed her name, because "I felt like every brand new start needs new beginnings." The new start also includes living in her own apartment and training to be a chef, she tells Dateline NBC in an interview airing Sunday. She goes by Lilly, a name she chose because lilies are "my favorite flower," she tells People. Both interviews come in advance of Lee's memoir, Finding Me, out Tuesday.

In the Dateline interview, Lee describes her ability to keep up hope at the worst of times: One diary entry from her ordeal reads, "Vibrant butterfly, full of life, every time I see one it reminds me how precious life can truly be." Her powerful friendship with fellow Ariel Castro victims Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry also helped her get through 11 years of captivity, she says. "I think basically every day we told each other we'd make it out alive," she tells People. On Dateline, she recalls her words: "One day we'll get out. One day we'll be free. One day we won't be voiceless."

In this Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 file photo, Michelle Knight sits in the courtroom during the sentencing phase for Ariel Castro in Cleveland.
In this Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 file photo, Michelle Knight sits in the courtroom during the sentencing phase for Ariel Castro in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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