Amanda Berry showed up at the RoverFest concert in Cleveland on Saturday night, where she was cheered by a huge crowd – and rapper Nelly.
Held captive in the city for a decade, she made her first public appearance a day after Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape charges.
Berry walked on stage with her family, wearing sunglasses and dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt. She smiled broadly, but didn’t address the crowd.
Nelly called Berry back to the stage after his music set to meet her.
Berry, 27, was held captive along with Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight until their stunning rescue this May, when Charles Ramsey aided their escape.
All of whom vanished between 2002 and 2004.
Her first public appearance came a day after Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts in a plea deal that will send him to prison for life without parole.
Shane French, the host of the syndicated talk radio show Rover’s Morning Glory on WMMS in Cleveland, said he was surprised when Berry showed up.
French, who goes by the name Rover on radio, said he had issued an impromptu invitation on his show a few weeks ago but didn’t know she was listening.
"I just said she had 10 years of partying to make up for and should come," French said, adding that he was shocked when security told him Berry had arrived.
French said that Amanda Berry at first refused to go on stage at the event, but then agreed after she asked if he would go with her and he obliged.
"She didn’t say why she decided to come, but some of her family told me they listen to my show every day and had been to RoverFest in the past," French said.
He said a couple of the women with Berry cried.
"I didn’t see her cry, but I think she was pretty overwhelmed by the response that the crowd gave her," he said. "She just seemed to be having a great time."