NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Life has changed dramatically for Ashley Smith, a married mother of three, since she was held hostage in her own apartment by an escaped killer a decade ago. In a twisted turn of fate, Smith's life was made better, she says, by the grace of God.
The author and public speaker was addicted to meth and was trying to regain custody of her daughter when Brian Nichols took her hostage for seven hours in 2005.
"As I was walking up to my door he came up behind me and put a gun to my head. He tied me up. A lot of things happened during those seven hours," said Smith.
Of the many things Smith did because Nichols asked her to, she didn't, however; do drugs with the killer.
"I thought it was a question God was asking. If I didn’t, he was going to change my life. I haven’t touched it since the day before Brian Nichols came into my life. I didn't want to end up dying and meeting God after doing drugs," said Smith.
The pair read excerpts from the book, The Purpose Driven Life. Smith told Nichols about her struggles as a single mom.
"At 9 am, he let me visit my daughter. I called the police. An hour later he peacefully surrendered. I should be dead today if I hadn’t made different choices," said Smith.
Her book about the ordeal, 'Unlikely Angel,' has been turned into the movie, 'Captive,' starring Kate Mara as Smith.
"Kate got to come and spend a couple of hours with us. She was just amazing. She knocked on the front door with a salad in her hand because she’s vegan. She came to South Carolina where my aunt was cooking good 'ol country food. She knew there would be no meal there for her," said Smith.
'Captive' opens Friday, Sept. 18.