Ohio woman held captive a decade says she's overcoming fears, now likes reading Stephen King

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CLEVELAND — A young woman held captive and tortured for more than a decade in a Cleveland home says she is conquering fears these days.

Michelle Knight said she now likes reading Stephen King novels.

"I like a little scare in my life," she explained at a Cleveland Main Library public discussion on Saturday.

She also said she plans to go skydiving to overcome a fear of heights and because "I'm adventurous."

The Plain Dealer of Cleveland http://bit.ly/1bax6ar reported, though, that she hasn't decided whether to watch an upcoming TV movie about the ordeal she, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus survived.

"I prefer not to put myself in a backwards spiral," Knight, now 33, explained. "You've got to take the bad in life and replace it with something good."

She said her main goal is "to keep hope alive for the missing and the voiceless."

Knight was kidnapped at age 21 by Ariel Castro. The women escaped his house in May 2013 and Castro committed suicide in prison that September after pleading guilty to a long list of charges.

Knight was the first taken captive by Castro, in August 2002.

"When I first was outside, it felt like my eyes were being fried like eggs in a frying pan," she said, telling the audience she needed special sunglasses after being freed.

"I don't have pity for him," she said of Castro. "He has hurt me for years, and now I am over that."

The Plain Dealer reported repeated applause and cheering for Knight, whose book "Finding Me" is now in paperback.

"How could you not be moved?" asked Cleveland resident Karen Sroka, one of the many who lined up to have books signed by Knight, be photographed with her or just chat briefly. Sroka gave Knight her sweatshirt from Alaska after Knight complimented her on it.

She didn't want to discuss her son, who was adopted while she was still missing and "locked away in hell." She also described her relationship with Berry and DeJesus as "kind of hectic ... It's best to deal with it in our own way.

Knight legally changed her name to Lily Rose Lee, but still goes by Michelle Knight in public appearances.

She said she recently moved into her own house and has named a puppy she adopted "Sky," because the pattern on her fur "reminds of the sky I didn't get to see for years."

"She's an inspiration," said Cindy Spiegler of Willoughby. "We've all had hardships, but hers is beyond anything."

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