In an exclusive ABC News 20/20 interview on Friday, Nov. 19, Jordan Turpin opened up to Diane Sawyer about the surprising way Justin Bieber helped her choose to escape the so-called “house of horror.”
Turpin is one of the 13 siblings who were finally rescued from the Perris, Calif. home of their parents, David and Louise Turpin, after years of physical and emotional torture by the couple.
In 2018, Turpin escaped out a window, armed with an old cellphone, which she used to document the abuse and call 9-1-1. Upon arrival, the police found the house full of garbage, excrement, and molding food. Some of the siblings, whose ages ranged from two to 29 at the time, were shackled to their beds. The siblings were also severely malnourished, and some suffered from cognitive impairment due to their condition, as well as had physical conditions such as heart problems. All had limited knowledge of the outside world.
David and Louise have since been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for their crimes after pleading guilty to 14 charges.
Turpin made her escape after learning her parents had intentions to move across state lines, telling Sawyer, “I think it was us coming so close to death so many times. If something happened to me, at least I died trying."
However, it was watching Bieber’s music videos that reminded her that there was more to the outside world.
"I don't know where we would be if we didn't watch Justin Bieber," she explained. "Sometimes, especially when we were younger, my mother and father would leave. The older ones would sneak in and turn on the TV. So we would see music videos and stuff, and that's where we learned a lot. I would watch a lot of Justin Bieber."
She said that watching the “Ghost” singer made her start “paying attention.”
"I started realizing that there is a different world out there. I only knew one world and that was like always being there,” she said. “I was always like, 'I want to be out there. I want to be like that being free, not being trapped.'"
Currently, Turpin and her siblings are struggling to put their lives together following their rescue. Turpin, now 21, said she doesn’t “have a way to get food” as she is no longer supported by the state. Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin told ABC that many of the adult children are living in “squalor” as they do not have access to the funds raised for them, for unknown reasons.