Nelly: Amanda Berry’s Smile Stuck With Me
(CNN) — When Amanda Berry made a public appearance at RoverFest on Saturday, she made a big impact on one of the performers.
She shared the stage with rapper Nelly and admits she’s a fan.
“What stuck with me the most, first of all, that she had a smile on her face, you know, that’s one of the most impressive things to me, considering everything that she had been through,” Nelly told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “You know, for me to be kind of, like, the first situation that, you know, that she was involved in herself in as far as being out in public, I thought, wow, that was special.”
Berry didn’t speak but smiled, danced and waved to the crowd.
“I didn’t know that this was, you know, her first appearance publicly since the situation, till, you know, later on after, because we really didn’t think nothing of it at the time. I mean, we met her backstage. We took pictures, we hugged. You know, and everything. And it was, like, yo, you guys want to join me, you know, on the side of the stage and all of that, you’re more than welcome. And they did. You know, just bringing her up to show her some love,” Nelly said.
The day before Berry’s appearance, her captor pleaded guilty to hundreds of charges including kidnapping and rape.
Ariel Castro, 53, held Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight inside his Seymour Avenue home in Cleveland for about a decade.
They escaped in May.
At RoverFest, Nelly dedicated a hit song to Berry.
“Again, it was just a moment of, yo, you know, we’re here, I just wanted to say, yo, how inspired I am by your courage and everything. And I would be honored if, you know, you came up here and, you know, sung ‘Just a Dream’ with me. She expressed she was a Nelly fan. I was, like, whoa. You know, considering she hadn’t been — it’s been, like, ten years, so that was dope,” Nelly said.
Castro will be sentenced Aug. 1. The recommended sentence was life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years.