Michelle Knight has reportedly rejected all attempts by her mother for an emotional reunion after 11 years in captivity in the Cleveland horror house.
More than two months after she was rescued from Ariel Castro’s house, Michelle Knight, 32, has not yet spoken to her mother, according to Mail Online.
Michelle Knight has not replied to a single card or letter sent by her mother Barbara Knight and has even refused to see her 10-year-old sister, a family friend told the website.
Such is the gulf between mother and daughter that Barbara Knight had no idea Michelle had made a video for her first public appearance and statement about her ordeal.
Michelle Knight’s mother, who lives in South Florida, only found out when a family friend told her about the short video in which Michelle talks about going to “hell and back”.
The family friend said Barbara Knight is “very hurt” that her daughter has refused to see her – or even speak with her on the phone.
“Barbara is hurt. She is very hurt. All she wants to do is see and speak to her daughter. She wants her youngest daughter Katie to meet Michelle,” said the friend.
“She has sent lots of letters and cards. Presumably they are being given to Michelle but she has not had a single word from her. She has tried repeatedly to make contact, but has heard nothing back. It is very sad.
“It is hurting her. She is her mother and never gave up hope that she was alive.”
Michelle Knight, who went missing in 2002, is believed to have suffered most at the hands of her alleged kidnapper, 52-year-old Ariel Castro.
She was 21 when she was taken off the street in August 2002 and little was made of her disappearance.
Her family told police that she had run away after her young son was taken from her by the Ohio Department of Family Services.
As the oldest of the three girls held captive at Castro’s home in Cleveland, Ohio, for over a decade, Michelle Knight was repeatedly raped, according to authorities.
Court documents have revealed she fell pregnant several times but miscarried after being beaten and starved.
Michelle Knight was also forced to deliver Ariel Castro’s daughter by Amanda Berry – who also went missing in 2003 aged 17 on her way home from a part time job at a Burger King restaurant.
While Amanda Berry, now 27, and Gina DeJesus, now 23, had emotional reunions with their family in the days after being freed, Michelle Knight said she did not want to see her mother.
Barbara Knight flew from her home in Naples, Florida, to Cleveland in the hope of being reunited with her daughter, even going to the hospital where she was being cared for.
However, Michelle Knight refused to see her mother and told authorities to send her away.
“Barbara was very hurt. She had taken her 10-year-old daughter Katie to Cleveland so that she could meet her sister. After a week she had to send Katie back to Naples so she could go back to school,” the family friend said.
“All Barbara wants is to see Michelle. Yes, there were things that went on in the past but she wants to move on and move forward.”
The family friend said Barbara Knight had also been hurt by accusations made by other family members that she was a bad mother.
She came in for public criticism after she revealed in May that she did not have a photo of her daughter Michelle.
“Barbara knows the truth and as a friend for over nine years I know she is not a bad mother.”
“When Michelle went missing she was upset about having her child taken into care. Barbara doesn’t talk about that and what went on, but I can tell you she is a great mother,” the friend said.
The friend also revealed that Barbara Knight had turned down several big money offers from TV networks to talk about her daughter.
“Barbara is not interested in money. All she wants is to be reunited with her daughter. When she is ready to talk it will be on her terms,” the friend said.
Michelle Knight spoke in a halting voice in the video released by a Cleveland-based public relations firm primarily so they could thanks family and supporters.
She said in the video that she is building a “brand new life”.
“I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and my head held high,” Michelle Knight said, reading from a prepared statement.
“I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation. I don’t want to be consumed by hatred.”
Kathy Joseph, Michelle Knight’s attorney, said in a statement that the three women wanted to “say thank you to people from Cleveland and across the world, now that two months have passed”.
Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus could come face to face with their alleged captor next month when he stands trial on 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross s***al imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools, to which Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty.