London, Aug 31 (ANI): Jaycee Lee Dugard survived for 18 years in 'American Fritzl' Phillip Garrido's captivity by becoming his 'second wife'.
Carl Probyn, Jaycee's stepfather, Probyn believes that being subservient and teaching the two daughters - Starlite, 15, and Angel, 11 - she had by Garrido to accept him as 'dad' saved her life.
The 60-year-old revealed that the girls had only just been told about their mum's ordeal.
Probyn insists that Jaycee's demure nature kept her alive.
"She's fragile and it paid off - she survived for 18 years. I think if she'd have been feisty and tried to climb the fence every day she probably wouldn't be here right now. She accepted the situation and dealt with it," the Sun quoted him as saying.
Jaycee was kidnapped by Garrido and his wife Nancy, 55, at a bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California, in June 1991.
Garrido's sexual abuse began almost immediately and she fell pregnant twice in the backyard 'prison' at his home in Antioch, California.
Police say that she came to accept that she was effectively his wife and kept up the pretence to protect her children. (ANI)