Amanda Knox speaks out on reconviction for slander

"I've just been living with this open wound and with this incredible stigma."

ByJulia Reinstein ABCNews logo
Friday, June 7, 2024
Amanda Knox re-convicted of slander in Italy for accusing innocent man in roommate's 2007 murder
Amanda Knox re-convicted of slander in Italy for accusing innocent man in roommate's 2007 murder

A day after she was reconvicted of slander in an Italian court, Amanda Knox spoke out on her podcast Thursday.

The only remaining conviction associated with the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox was sentenced to three years for slandering Patrick Lumumba, a Congolese bar owner, in a written statement following the murder of her roommate. She is not expected to serve time, since she already served about four years before her murder conviction was overturned.

The video in the player above is from a previous report.

In an episode of her podcast, "Labyrinths," Knox said the reconviction brought her back to how she felt during her 2009 murder trial.

"I've been here before -- I've been in front of a judge and a jury, and I've poured my heart out to them before, hoping that I would be heard, and I've been torn down before," she said.

In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italian law enforcement officials violated Knox's rights while interrogating her, which prompted the slander conviction to be tossed out and a new trial ordered.

Through a trembling voice on Wednesday, Knox addressed a Florence courtroom in Italian, speaking about why she wrote a statement to police naming Lumumba as her roommate's killer. She didn't intend to hurt Lumumba, who was "not only her employer" but also a friend who consoled her after her roommate's death, but named him while exhausted and confused during extensive police questioning, she said.

In her podcast on Thursday, Knox said she was "confused" by the outcome of what she thought would be a "very straightforward proceeding," and vowed to keep fighting.

"I, in no way, knowingly and willingly accused an innocent man. I was psychologically tortured by the police," she said. "And even in the immediate aftermath of that, I attempted to do the right thing and I attempted to recant, and the police didn't listen to me."

Knox said Wednesday's reconviction was a "huge step backwards" and felt like law enforcement officials just "wanted to find me guilty of something."

"I couldn't be just an innocent person -- like, I had to be to blame for everything that happened to me, instead of the country taking responsibility for what it had done," she said on her podcast.

Knox reflected on being interrogated in 2007, saying it was the "worst night" of her life -- even worse than the day she was convicted.

"I was already in a very terrifying situation. I mean, my friend had just been murdered, there was a killer on the loose and I was trying to help, and then (there were) people that I was relying on yelling at me and hitting me and telling me that I had witnessed something horrible and I couldn't even remember it," she said.

"At the very least when I was sentenced ... I knew what the truth was. I knew that I was innocent and that this was wrong," she said. "But in that night, I didn't know what was true anymore, and I felt utterly destabilized."

Knox said she feels grateful to her lawyers for standing by her, but expressed how painful it is to still be fighting for her innocence over a decade later.

"I was 20 years old when this happened, and I've just been living with this open wound and with this incredible stigma that comes from being accused of this crime, and all of the implications that follow, and I'm still living with it," she said. "And I can live with it; I will survive this, and I'm gonna keep fighting it. But it's hard."