Tearful Amanda Knox says she is ‘a victim’ after slander re-conviction in case linked to Meredith Kercher’s murder

June 7, 2024
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Amanda Knox has said she is a “victim” who has been unjustly persecuted for her whole adult life, after an Italian court upheld her conviction for falsely accusing a man of her roommate’s murder.

Knox, 36, originally from Seattle, appeared in court in Florence on Wednesday to hear that her slander conviction — for accusing Congolese bar owner Patrick Lumumba, of taking part in the killing of Meredith Kercher — and its three-year jail sentence would stand.

Knox faces no jail time because she spent four years in prison after she was convicted of Kercher’s murder, before she was exonerated in full. Now she says she will appeal the decision and continue the fight to clear her name.

“I have been unjustly accused for 17 years. I spent four years in prison as an innocent [person]. 17 years — that is my entire adult life I have been unjustly accused,” she told Sky News Italia on Thursday. (Sky News Italia is owned by Comcast, the parent company of NBC News.)

“I didn’t slander Patrick; I didn’t kill my friend. I will come back here as many times as I have to fight against this injustice,” she said.

The American was only 20 when she and her Italian then-boyfriend were arrested for the brutal killing of 21-year-old fellow student Meredith Kercher at the girls' shared home in Perugia.
Amanda Knox arrives with her husband Christopher Robinson at the courthouse in Florence, Italy on Wednesday. Tiziana Fabi / AFP – Getty Images

She added that she was surprised by the verdict and had thought it was a “very clear matter,” arguing that one of the main documents in the case clearly said she did not know who killed Kercher.

“From the beginning I just wanted to do the right thing and tell the truth. Sometimes I feel like there is nothing I can do. I am trying, I will try forever,” she said.

Looking back on the case, which became a huge news story in Italy, the U.S. and in Kercher’s native Britain, Knox said she became the “most hated girl accused of murder in the world.” Referring to the nickname given to her by British tabloid newspapers, she said: “I’m not Foxy Knoxy, I’m Amanda Knox.”

“I’m a victim,” she added.

Knox was 20 when she was sentenced to 26 years for Kercher’s murder at the apartment they shared in the central Italian university town of Perugia.  

The killing made headlines around the world after Kercher, 21, was found half-naked in a pool of blood with more than 40 stab wounds on Nov. 1, 2007. Her throat had been slit. 

Kercher, a student from Britain’s University of Leeds, was embarking on a year of study in Perugia, living in a rented flat with Knox and two Italian roommates. Friends called her “Mez.” The youngest of four children, she grew up on the outskirts of London.

Knox and her her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, then 25, whom she had been seeing for around a week, were charged with Kercher’s murder. Prosecutors alleged it was a case of rough sex that got violent.

After the two were convicted in December 2009, Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.

Both spent four years behind bars as the case meandered through the Italian court system and, after a series of flip-flop verdicts, they were ultimately exonerated by the the Supreme Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest court in March 2015.

Central to Knox’s case was that the evidence for her slander conviction comes from when she was in police custody, where she was interviewed without an interpreter or legal representation during 53 hours of questioning over four days.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ruled in 2019 that the Italian legal system should pay her $20,000. “Knox had been particularly vulnerable, being a foreign young woman, 20 at the time, not having been in Italy for very long and not being fluent in Italian,” the court noted at the time.

Knox told Sky Italia that this experience had left her “psychologically tortured, abused and mistreated.”

On a new episode of her podcast, “Labyrinths,” released Thursday, Knox said: “I, in no way, knowingly and willingly accused an innocent man. I was psychologically tortured by the police.”

She added that the authorities had “wanted to find me guilty of something.”

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