Amanda Knox explained how a prison friendship turned into an unwanted lesbian relationship in an article published to Vice’s Broadly on Thursday.
Knox, 29, detailed how she was propositioned by Leny, whose name was changed for the article, while jailed at an Italian prison.
In 2007, the American student was convicted of the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher. However, Italy’s highest appeals court overturned the conviction in 2015.
“I was imprisoned for a murder I didn’t commit,” Knox, who was behind bars between 2007 and 2011, explained.
Amanda Knox: ‘She tried to seduce me’ https://t.co/fCDXRJWTZL
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Alienated by other prisoners and gawked at by prison staff due to her high-profile trial, Knox said she was three years into her sentence when she met Leny, a local drug dealer.
“Leny wanted to hold hands. ‘I’ve changed women before,’ she’d tell me. ‘I can do things to you that no man can.’ I felt objectified and I’d get annoyed. ‘You can’t change me,’ I’d respond. She’d think I was playing hard to get. One day, Leny kissed me,” the 29-year-old wrote.
The 29-year-old wrote how she was stuck between “embarrassment and anger” after Leny’s advances:
“It was bad enough that the prison institution took ownership of my body―that I was caged and strip-searched on a regular basis and had already been sexually harassed by male guards. As a prisoner, Leny should have understood that, but unlike me, Leny was serving a short stint, and didn’t feel as acutely as I did the loss of privacy, dignity, and autonomy. A small town drug dealer, Leny didn’t know what it felt like to have her past, present, and future stolen―not like I did.”
Though Knox later ended the friendship, she claimed Leny would stand outside her cell to argue with her and send her jazz CDs with personal messages. While Knox pointed out a relationship that succeeded outside of prison, she said the friendship ended because Leny couldn’t respect her boundaries.
Despite this encounter, the 29-year-old believed that the public typically overlooks “non-sexual romantic relationships” sparked in prison, which leads many former inmates to treat these instances at dirty secrets.
Knox concluded, “But they’re not. ‘Gay for the stay’ is an insensitive oversimplification that signals a lack of understanding about what it’s really like to be imprisoned, and an underestimation of human nature.”