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Amanda Knox smiles while attending a cocktail in Modena. Italy
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/A. Calanni
Politics

Amanda Knox returns to Italy

June 15, 2019

Once accused of brutally murdering her roommate, the exonerated journalist has called for an end to "irresponsible media." Her case gained widespread notoriety, partly due to the media frenzy surrounding her trial.

https://p.dw.com/p/3KW58

Amanda Knox, an American journalist who was exonerated of her roommate's 2007 murder, criticized media coverage of her case at a conference in Modena on Saturday, marking the first time she has returned to Italy since she was acquitted.

Knox and her boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, were charged with the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in the Italian city of Perugia. Her case gained widespread notoriety with lurid headlines that included such phrases as "Foxy Knoxy."

"In the court of public opinion, you are not a person, you are an object to consume," Knox said during a panel entitled "Trial by Media." "I had no doubt my innocence would save me. But my innocence didn't save me, because the media created a version of me that did not fit with that story. And people loved their story."

Read more: European court orders Italy to pay Amanda Knox damages

Amanda Knox escorted by Italian police
Knox's trial was widely reported on in Italy and the UK, often with sensational anglesImage: picture-alliance/dpa/Ansa/P. Crocchioni

'Irresponsible media'

Throughout Knox's trial, defense lawyers argued that she could not receive a fair trial due to the media frenzy surrounding the case.

In an article published on online publishing platform Medium, Knox described being depicted as a "sex-crazed femme fatale" by Italian prosecutors and fleeing Italy "in a high-speed chase, paparazzi literally ramming the back of my stepdad's rental car."

"While on trial for a murder I didn't commit, my prosecutor painted me as a sex-crazed femme fatale, and the media profited for years by sensationalizing an already sensational and utterly unjustified story," Knox wrote.  "It's on us to stop making and stop consuming such irresponsible media."

Read more: Media misreport Dutch teen Noa Pothoven's death as euthanasia

Finally free

Knox was found guilty and acquitted several times before Italy's highest court definitively acquitted her in 2015. She spent four years in prison before leaving Italy in 2011.

An Ivorian man who long resided in Perugia was found guilty of the murder in 2008. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison after exhausting the appeals process.

In the run-up to Knox's participation at the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena, a lawyer representing Kercher's family told The Associated Press that "inviting her to a technical panel on justice was a mistake."

Read more: Opinion: Digitalization exerting massive pressure on media diversity

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ls/jm (AP, AFP)

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