(Cleveland) They've turned down several offers for interviews but kidnapping survivors Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus are ready to tell their story of survival. The women have signed a book deal with Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post author Mary Jordan. Jordan is a former Clevelander, growing up on the city's West Side.
In the book the women plan to tell never-before-heard accounts of their decade of captivity at the hands of Ariel Castro inside his Seymour Avenue home.
After Amanda, Gina, and Michelle Knight escaped on May 6th the world became captivated by the small details of the story released by police reports and recounted in the court case against Castro. The women and their families decided to take control of the story by giving their own account about what happened to them.
The book will be published by Robert Barnett who's handled book deals by Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush to name a few. No publishing date has been set.
How to accomplish this is beyond us, the team of pro bono lawyers in Cleveland. We sought the advice of Mary Jordan. Mary grew up on the West Side of Cleveland. She is a Pulitzer prize winning writer from the Washington Post who writes, among other things, about strong women. But most importantly, Mary is someone I have known for 25 years. Her brother Pat was my best friend. She is a woman of great integrity and character. Mary, along with her husband and Washington Post colleague Kevin Sullivan, will collaborate with Gina and Amanda to help them write this book. Mary did not seek me out or ask to be involved. I went to her for help, knowing I could trust her, which meant everything to me.
Mary introduced us to her friend Robert Barnett who has helped presidents, world leaders and public figures caught in difficult circumstances like Amanda Knox tell their stories. One thing led to another and now Gina, Amanda and their families want to begin the process of telling this remarkable story – a story, above all else, about human dignity and human survival. They will be in control, assisted by Mary Jordan, Kevin Sullivan and Robert Barnett, people of great experience and integrity who will make sure this process is carried out in the right way.
James R. Wooley