Vienna: Austrian teenager, Natascha Kampusch, who spent eight years of her life in an underground cell, broke her silence on Monday to defend her kidnapper.

“He was a part of my life,'' she said in a statement. “In principle I don't have the feeling that I missed something."

In remarks read to reporters by a psychologist, Natascha said she understood the "extreme curiosity" about what she endured but pleaded with journalists: "Please leave me alone for a while."

"Everyone wants to ask intimate questions, (but) they don't concern anyone," she said. "I feel good where I'm at now."

Police said on Monday that they had started to question the teenager about her abduction at age 10 by Wolfgang Priklopil, who committed suicide shortly after her escape.

Police Major General Gerhard Lang of the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau said investigators are continuing to follow up on every lead in the case, which until last week was one of Austria's greatest unsolved criminal mysteries.

Natascha referred to her small underground cell where she was locked for eight years simply as “my room.''

"It's my room, and not for the public to see," she said, referring to photographs and video footage released by the police of the cramped, windowless basement cell.

"He was not my master. I was equally strong," her statement read. "I didn't cry after the escape.''