Amanda Knox is refuting the “party girl” image that plagued her during her nightmarish murder trial in Italy.
Knox, who was accused of killing her study-abroad roommate in 2007, explains her youthful exploits in her new memoir “Amanda Knox: Waiting To Be Heard.”
Knox became known in the media as “Foxy Knoxy” — a nickname earlier assigned to her by soccer teammates back home in Seattle — and prosecutors in Meredith Kercher’s murder case spread the theory that Knox killed her then-roommate during a “sex game” gone wrong.
Knox was often portrayed as a “sex pot” who liked to experiment.
Not true, she says.
Knox says her friends back home made her feel inexperienced and told her to “give casual sex a chance.” She says she “yearned to break down all the barriers” between her and adulthood, and “sex was a big one.”
She goes into some detail about the random hook-ups that were eventually leaked to the press after Italian prison officials (falsely) told her she had HIV and demanded a list of her past sexual partners.
Knox describes meeting a man named Cristiano on a train from Milan to Florence. She makes her innocence and inexperience clear:
I wondered if Cristiano thought I was cute — the word I used to describe myself back then. The leap to beautiful or sexy was too huge for me to make. In my mind, if that ever happened, it would only be after I’d grown into a sexually confident woman.
But she quickly had second thoughts:
We were making out, fooling around like crazy, when, an hour later, I realised, I don’t even know this guy. I jumped up, kissed him once more, and said good-bye.
She says the encounter left her with a giant cold sore and oral herpes.
It’s clear that Knox wants to establish that she doesn’t feel comfortable with the “party girl” label. She spends more time establishing that the casual sex she was criticised for was a product of peer pressure:
Casual sex was, for my generation, simply what you did. I didn’t feel that my attitude toward sex made me different from anyone else in my villa. … I told myself, People have flings.
She makes the same defence for her regular use of marijuana, calling it “as common as pasta” around the villa she shared with Kercher. Knox says the drug use was “purely social” and “not something I’d ever do alone.” She didn’t even know how to roll a joint, she said.
Knox also talks about a picture her other roommates took of her with a joint:
Either Filomena or Laura took a picture of me posing with it between my index and middle finger, as if it were a cigarette, and I a pouty 1950s pinup. I was being goofy, but this caricature of me as a sexpot would soon take hold around the world.
Knox seems painfully aware of people’s perception of her, and much of the exposition of the book reads as a defence — a series of explanations for her much-criticised behaviour.
She is now facing another trial. Knox was initially found guilty of Kercher’s murder in 2009, but that verdict was overturned on appeal in 2011. A higher court in Italy recently overturned that acquittal and now her case must be heard again.
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