Knox says she had to fend off fel­low in­mate’s se­duc­tion bid

The Press - - World -

UNITED STATES: Amanda Knox, who was con­victed but then ac­quit­ted of the mur­der of British stu­dent Mered­ith Kercher in Italy, has writ­ten a de­tailed ac­count of how a les­bian in­mate tried to se­duce her dur­ing her years be­hind bars.

The idea of straight women in prison re­sort­ing to les­bian re­la­tion­ships ‘‘brings out the horny teenage boy in many of us’’, but sex­ual bonds were of­ten a re­flec­tion of a des­per­ate yearn­ing for com­pan­ion­ship in a bru­tal en­vi­ron­ment, Knox wrote.

Knox was in­car­cer­ated in Ca­panne prison in Um­bria, Italy be­tween 2007 and 2011 af­ter be­ing ini­tially found guilty by the Ital­ian ju­di­cial sys­tem of killing and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing Kercher, her flat­mate, who was from Sur­rey.

She has re­vealed for the first time that while serv­ing her sen­tence, she was be­friended by a fe­male in­mate, a small­time drug dealer, who tried to ini­ti­ate a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with her.

The woman, whom Knox called ’’Leny’’, ini­tially seemed happy to be friends as a way of guard­ing against the lone­li­ness of prison, but af­ter a while she tried to per­suade the young Amer­i­can to be­come sex­u­ally in­ti­mate.

‘‘She’d think I was play­ing hard to get. One day, Leny kissed me,’’ Knox wrote in an es­say ti­tled What Ro­mance in Prison Ac­tu­ally Looks Like for the web­site Broadly.

‘‘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.’’

Knox broke off the friend­ship, telling Leny that ‘‘we couldn’t be friends any more’’.

Her es­say of­fers a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into her time in jail, about which she has said lit­tle in the past.

She said she was ex­tremely re­served with other in­mates. ‘‘I didn’t re­ally have friends in prison.’’

Re­garded as a celebrity be­cause of the huge me­dia at­ten­tion that the Kercher mur­der case gar­nered, she was re­sented by other pris­on­ers.

Af­ter be­ing re­leased, Knox re­turned to her home town of Seat­tle.

Kercher, 21, was mur­dered in the house she shared with Knox and two young Ital­ian women in Peru­gia in Novem­ber 2007, just af­ter Hal­lowe’en. Rudy Guede, a lo­cal drifter who was born in Ivory Coast but grew up in Peru­gia, is the only per­son to have been defini­tively con­victed of the mur­der, and is serv­ing a 16-year jail sen­tence. - Tele­graph Group

PHOTO: REUTERS

Amanda Knox says sex­ual bonds in prison of­ten re­flect a des­per­ate yearn­ing for com­pan­ion­ship in a bru­tal en­vi­ron­ment.

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