Rico, Jennifer and Oprah

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As their meeting ends, Jennifer reads a statement to Billy. "I have traveled a very, very long journey. ... Part of my ending piece to my journey is to tell you that I forgive you. I forgive you for what took place that night. I forgive you for that, I've made peace with that. I had to because I was so angry and I was so hurt. He was such a great person, just because he was gay didn't mean he was bad. I've forgiven you for that. Maybe you can find some peace in that, because I have."

"I hope your forgiveness—for you telling me forgiveness—gives you peace in your life for your family, for your kids, for your husband, because I'll never forgive myself for what I did that night," Billy says. "I've hurt a lot of people that didn't deserve to be hurt. I'm sorry. I apologize for taking your father's life. I know it's just words and I can't bring your father back, but my sole purpose was to come here today to let you know from my heart I'm sorry."

Jennifer says meeting with Billy brought her some peace. "He was kind of the final piece of the puzzle that had to be put together," she says.

Her husband, Rico (seen with Jennifer above), initially had been against this meeting. "I thought this guy was angling for something," he says. "I didn't want this guy to get anything. ... The only reason I let Jen do it is because I finally came to the realization it wasn't about me, it was about Jen."

When they leave the prison, Rico realizes that the meeting has been a positive one. "You could tell Jennifer ha[s] been freed from something," he says. "Her whole attitude [is] happier. I learned maybe I ought to think about the other side a little bit. ... I realize other people need to get forgiveness for themselves."
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FROM: Confronting the Attacker
Published on November 08, 2006

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