Nearly a decade on

Amanda Knox says she ‘curled up in a ball and cried’ over columnist’s comments

Amanda Knox speaks to the media during a brief press conference in front of her parents' home March 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Less than a month ago, Netflix released a documentary that explored the murder case Amanda Knox was swept up in and the global obsession that ensued as she fought to have her conviction,for the killing of roommate Meredith Kercher overturned. Knox, who at times appears tearful and speaks candidly throughout the documentary, has authored an Op-Ed for USA Today in which she described the difficulty she’s had trying to reclaim her life after being released from an Italian prison five years ago. Knox singles out one recent remark made by a columnist that deeply affected her. In a September column for The Independent, Charlotte Gill denounced Knox for what she saw as capitalizing on Meredith Kercher’s death. “The kindest thing she could have done since her release from prison would have been to slip away, out of sight,” Gill wrote. “But she has exploited her situation for all it’s worth.”

“To her, my very presence is an affront,” Knox replied in her Op-Ed. “After years of wrongful imprisonment, having everything dear to me stripped away, I was released to an unceasing torrent of slut-shaming and slander. And Gill wants me to just disappear? I read that, curled up in a ball, and cried.”

Knox goes on to recount a bleak life since returning to the U.S., in which criticism comes from all directions — not just from opinion writers. Threats and gendered verbal attacks became and have remained the norm — not to mention threats of depraved violence — Knox wrote.

“Every day for the past nine years I’ve been called a slut and murderer by total strangers. In prison, it was hate mail. Outside of prison, it’s social media and hate mail. ‘Teach me how to get away with murder.’ ‘I hope you will be alone forever.’ ‘Murderess.’ ‘Psychopath.’ ‘Whore.’ One person promised, in a comment on my personal website, to kidnap me in broad daylight, rip out my teeth and fingernails, electrocute me, and carve Meredith Kercher’s name into my body.”

Through it all, though, Knox somehow is able to put a positive spin on her nearly decade-long ordeal. She wrote that as excruciating as the intense global media attention was, she also feels she was “fortunate” for having been subjected to it all.

Read the full Op-Ed at USA Today.

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