Lifestyle & Belief

Elizabeth Smart, former teenage sex slave, marries in Hawaiian Mormon temple


Elizabeth Smart (R) and her father Ed Smart walk away from federal court after the sentencing of Elizabeth's kidnapper Brian David Mitchell May 25, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


George Frey

Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped at knife point as a 14-year-old from her parents' Salt Lake City home and held captive for nine months, has married at a Mormon temple in Hawaii.

Smart, now 24, married Matthew Gilmour, 22, from Aberdeen, Scotland, at the Laie Hawaii Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oahu's North Shore in a private ceremony Saturday afternoon, the Associated Press reported.

The pair reportedly met when both were doing Mormon mission work in Paris.

"To be in one of her favorite places with her family has made for a dream wedding. It's been an absolutely beautiful day," her spokesperson Chris Thomas told People Magazine. "She is positively radiant. And Matthew couldn't be happier."

Thomas said in a statement that the couple was to depart on an "extended honeymoon." 

During nine months in captivity, Smart was raped almost daily by her captors, Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee, who have since been sentenced to life and 15 years in prison respectively.

At the trial for Mitchell, a onetime itinerant street preacher, Smart described the ordeal of being held captive by the pair as "nine months of hell." 

(GlobalPost reports: Elizabeth Smart, former teenage captive, engaged to be married)

She testified that within hours of the kidnapping she had been stripped of her favorite red pajamas, draped in white, religious robes and forced into a polygamous marriage with Mitchell.

She was tethered to a metal cable strung between two trees and subjected to near-daily rapes while being forced to use alcohol and drugs.

She said Mitchell threatened her life and those of her family members daily, and that she was forced to dress in disguises and stay quiet or lie about her identity if approached by strangers or police.

According to Reuters, she was freed after being spotted in a Salt Lake City suburb in 2003 by passers-by who recognized her from media reports, which were extensive at the time.

Smart, a senior at Brigham Young University, is now an advocate for missing children and in July was hired by ABC News as a contributor on the topic.