Cyntoia Brown on was sentenced to life as a teen for murdering a man she said had paid her for sex. Now 31, she was released from a Tennessee prison on Aug. 7 and she says “loving every single thing” about life as a free woman.
As we previously reported, Brown was released from the Tennessee Prison for Women after serving 15 years of a life sentence for the 2004 murder of a Nashville real estate agent who bought her for sex when she was 16 years old.
Her crime garnered national attention and inspired a public campaign for her freedom. She was granted clemency by former Tennessee Gov Bill Haslam after celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna who called for her release. She was released earlier this month and will remain on parole for 10 years.
“Being able to cook for myself and decide how I want to spend my day feels amazing,” Brown said in an exclusive statement to NBC News. “Those simple pleasures that people take for granted are what I looked forward to when I sat in prison dreaming of freedom.”
Since her release, Brown has been relishing in married life to recording artist J. Long, formerly of the R&B group Pretty Ricky.
She secured a book deal while she was imprisoned, and “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System,” is set to hit shelves on October 15. The book is described as a “coming-of-age memoir set against the shocking backdrop of a life behind bars.”
Next year, Netflix will release a feature documentary about Brown.
“One of the best moments was the night I celebrated my release with my whole family and everyone who’d made a difference in my life over the last 15 years,” she said.
“Looking around and seeing how everything had come together, and how everyone was fellowshipping and happy, was just incredible. I wasn’t presenting myself as a 16-year-old heading to prison and needing help. I was a grown woman with my calling from God. This was my coming out party,” Brown continued.
“Every day I find myself thanking God for yet another experience I haven’t had my whole adult life,” she said in the statement.
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