“I have been the recipient of many misportrayals myself,” Smart told E!, “and it’s always been important to me that, if there’s any way I can help and allow them to portray their story in a way that’s going to be true to them…then I want to give that to them.”
Thomas said that she’s feeling stronger than ever now, but it admittedly took a long time, and her recovery is still a work in progress.
“I used to be scared to go into stores,” she shared. “I used to not want to leave my house, close the blinds, you know, have someone else go grocery shopping for me—and I don’t do that anymore. I just walk as if nothing bothers me, or at least I try to. Even if it does, I try not to let other people know about it.”
Asked if there was anything she would tell Cummins now, Thomas said, point blank, “I hope he rots and dies in there.”
Smart said she seconded that, adding, “But I’d also say, ‘You did not break her. You did not destroy her. She is stronger than you ever thought she was.'”
Thomas agreed. “I’m not scared,” she said. “Nothing he can do is ever going to hurt me anymore.”
Abducted By My Teacher: The Elizabeth Thomas Story premieres Saturday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. on Lifetime, followed at 10 p.m. by Beyond the Headlines: The Elizabeth Thomas Story With Elizabeth Smart
(E! and NBC News are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)