Amanda Knox has opened up about the love she felt for a lesbian while in prison.
Knox served nearly four years in the Capanne prison, a women’s prison in the central Italian town of Perugia.
She was accused of brutally murdering her flatmate and fellow exchange Meredith Kercher, but was definitely acquitted in 2015.
‘Every day, Leny watched me jog around the yard (a rectangular outdoor area roughly a quarter of the size of a football field),’ Knoxs writes.
‘And eventually worked up the nerve to say hello. I was cautiously friendly. We walked the perimeter together.
‘She told me she was a lesbian and I told her I was straight.’
In the prison system, Knox said she was constantly feeling ‘between defensiveness and loneliness’.
She was singled out – everyone else belonged to certain social circles, and because Knox was famous, she never let her guard down around other inmates.
She allowed herself to form a tentative almost-friendship with Leny, though, who was serving time for being a small-town drug dealer.
‘At first, she didn’t demand anything. So I let Leny listen to my CDs. I taught her how to play chess,’ she writes.
‘When Leny got a janitorial job, she loitered outside my cell for a sip of espresso and a chat whenever she was on break.
‘Leny didn’t have anyone else, so she looked forward to our time together.’
‘I’ve changed women before’
At first, Knox said, Leny ‘might not have been trying to seduce me’ but rather wanted the human connection prison deprives you of.
But when her new friend made overt advances and said she ‘changed’ women before, Knox said she felt objectified.
Then Leny kissed her.
‘I gritted my teeth and half-smiled, wavering between embarrassment and anger,’ Knox writes.
‘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.’
To read the full essay, which was part of the Valentine’s Day-themed Love Is a Hoax series debunking ‘myths and lies about romance’, visit Broadly.