Amanda Knox, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2009, said that the Ghislaine Maxwell and Elizabeth Holmes trials are giving her "flashbacks" of her own trial.
"It’s not every day that a prominent man accused of heinous wrongdoing is put on trial while the world sits captivated," Knox, who was accused of killing her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007, wrote in a piece Monday on Bari Weiss's Substack channel, Common Sense. "It’s even rarer when that person is a woman. Right now, there are two of them—Elizabeth Holmes and Ghislaine Maxwell—and it’s giving me flashbacks."
Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of the murder and sexual assault of her former roommate, Kercher. She was acquitted in 2011 after spending four years in custody. The murder conviction was reinstated in 2014, but she was definitively acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015.
"When it comes to being held accountable for the crimes of men, and being manipulated by other, powerful men within a system and situation wildly out of your control … hi, my name is Amanda Knox," Knox said.
In 2008, Rudy Hermann Guede, 34, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the death of Kercher.
"Guede raped and killed her, leaving his fingerprints and footprints in her blood, his DNA inside her body, and immediately fled the country," Knox wrote. "But none of that was evident the day after the murder. It was a small town, shocked by a horrible crime, and the local police felt immense pressure to arrest a suspect. That suspect was me."
British socialite Maxwell, 59, has denied charges she groomed underage girls for accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who is suspected of sex trafficking. Epstein killed himself in jail in 2019. Her lawyers say the government is making her a scapegoat for alleged sex crimes committed by her onetime boyfriend and moved immediately for a judgment of acquittal after prosecutors rested Friday afternoon.
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Knox says she can "empathize and sympathize" with Maxwell's situation. "I know very well what it’s like to be scapegoated for a man’s crimes and to be a victim of true coercion," Knox writes. Holmes, who Knox also mentioned, is accused of knowingly tricking investors about Theranos' faulty blood test technology and claiming she was coerced by an older man.
Knox says she felt coerced into her confession by police who "slapped" her and prompted her into "confused and incoherent speculation." They even threatened that she wouldn't see her family again if she didn't remember the "truth." Knox said she eventually signed statements confessing to the crime authored and typed up by the police. When she later recanted, she was ignored.
Knox is glad Maxwell and Holmes are getting their days in court, but can't help but balk at their defense strategies. She feels like both women are refusing to be held accountable, and the most vulnerable people in the equations are the victims she believes are being brushed aside or discredited.
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Knox wraps the piece by saying it would be a lot easier to buy the claims of coercion and scapegoating from both women if they themselves expressed remorse to those directly harmed by their actions.
"Whether they are truly scapegoats, or whether they are using those men to diminish their own culpability, is a question that will be settled by each jury soon."