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Text of kidnapped girl’s public statement

Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian woman who escaped last week after being held hostage for eight years, asked her psychiatrist Max Friedrich to read the following statement at a news conference in Vienna on Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian woman who escaped last week after being held hostage for eight years, asked her psychiatrist Max Friedrich to read the following statement at a news conference in Vienna on Monday.

He said he was told by Kampusch not to provide the statement in written form. The transcript is from the readout he gave.

“Dear journalists, reporters, dear global audience!

“I am very much aware of what an impact the events of the past days must have made on you. I imagine how shocking and frightening the thought that something like this could even be possible must be. Furthermore, I am aware that you are somewhat curious about me and naturally want to know more details about the circumstances in which I lived.

“First of all I want to let you know that I don’t want and will not answer any questions about personal or intimate details. I will act against those who overstep personal boundaries towards voyeurism. Whoever tries to do so will have to watch out. I have grown into a young woman interested in education and with human needs.

“My living space: My room was well enough furnished. It was my room and not meant to be shown in public.

“My daily life: This was very regulated. Most of the time we had breakfast together — he didn’t work most of the time — household chores, reading, watching television, talking, cooking. That’s what it was like for years. Everything connected with the fear of loneliness.

“The relationship: He was not my master. I was just as strong. But — to give you a metaphor — he carried me in his arms but also trampled me underfoot. But he took on the wrong one (person) — and he and I both knew that. He carried out the kidnapping on his own, everything was already prepared.

“He furnished the room — which was not just 1.60 meters high — together with me. By the way, I did not cry after the escape. There was no reason for mourning.

“In my view his death was unnecessary. A penalty would not have been the end of the world. He was a part of my life and this is why I am, in a way, mourning him.

“Of course it is true my youth was different from many other people. But generally I don’t have the feeling I missed anything. I spared myself many things, I did not start smoking or drinking and I did not hang out in bad company.

“Message to the media: The only thing the press should spare me are the permanent defamations of myself, the misinterpretation, the second-guessing and the lack of respect toward me.

“Currently I feel good where I am, perhaps a little bit patronized. But that’s how I decided that I want to only stay in touch with my family over the phone. I will determine myself when I will contact journalists.

“About my escape: When I had to clean and vacuum the car in the garden, he went away because of the vacuuming noise. That was my opportunity, I simply left the vacuum cleaner running.

“By the way I never called him ‘master,’ even though he wanted it. I believe he quasi-wanted it but not really seriously.

“I have a lawyer I trust who is discussing legal issues with me. Youth attorney (Monika) Pinterits is my confidant, I can talk well with Dr. (Max) Friedrich and Dr. (Ernst) Berger. The team of (chief investigator Johann) Fruehstueck was very good to me. I say hello to them, but they indeed were a bit curious. That’s their job, however.

“Intimate questions: Everybody wants to ask intimate questions that is not their business. Maybe I will tell a therapist or maybe I will tell somebody when I feel the need, but perhaps I will never tell. The intimacy belongs to me alone.

“... It was Wolfgang (Priklopil)’s own decision to throw himself under the train. I sympathize with Wolfgang’s mother. I can feel with her and put myself in her position. I, and both of us, think of him.

“I want to thank all people who are so interested in my life. Please bear with me in the time to come. Dr. Friedrich will explain it with this statement. Many people are taking care of me. Give me some time until I can tell the story myself.

Natascha Kampusch.”