Amanda Knox claims she was sexually harassed by prison guards and misdiagnosed as HIV positive during her four-year imprisonment in Italy, according to her soon-to-be released memoir, “Waiting to be Heard.”
The 25-year-old claims she was repeatedly sexually harrassed by Raffaele Argiro, a high-ranking prison official, as well as by her bisexual cellmate. She said there was rampant sexual abuse in the prison. One guard allegedly took pictures of her “intimate parts,” and her female cellmate kissed her.
“I hear you like to have sex. How do you like to have sex?” Argiro asked her, she claims in her memoir.
He went on to ask: “What positions do you like most? Would you like to have sex with me? No? I’m too old for you?”
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Argiro, who is now returned, was previously accused of sexually assaulting another female prisoner. Knox said he would call her up to his empty office late at night.
“He was fixed on the topic of sex – who I’d done it with, how I liked it … if I would like to do it with him. I was so surprised and scandalized by his provocations that sometimes I thought I hadn’t understood the things he said to me. When I realized he wanted to talk about sex, I would try to change the subject.”
She also claimed that prison officials misdiagnosed her as HIV positive during her incarceration.
Knox was convicted in 2009 of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, while studying abroad in Perugia, Umbria, Italy. Then 20 years old, she was given 26 years in prison along with her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.
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Both convictions were overturned in October of 2011 due to lack of evidence. Knox was acquitted after serving four years in Italy’s Capanne prison.
An Italian Supreme Court ruled in March to overturn the acquittal and retry Knox, who now lives in her hometown of Seattle and studies at the University of Washington, and her former boyfriend Solecito.
Italian police are currently suing Knox for defamation after she claimed she was physically assaulted during an interrogation.
Knox told People Magazine she wants the Kercher family to read her new memoir because it is “painful” that they still believe she murdered the girl.
She said the book is an effort to “reclaim her identity.” She hopes to change the image painted of her during the murder case, that of a sexually promiscuous American nicknamed “Foxy Knoxy.”
“I’ve never approached them, for legal reasons and because I worry about imposing on them in their grief,” Knox said of the Kercher parents. “But my understanding is that her father thinks I'm still the killer of his daughter, and that's painful. I really hope they read my book.”
Reuters reported last week that in the memoir Knox considered committing suicide when she was imprisoned.
"I started to understand how you could feel so locked inside your own life that you could be so desperate to escape, even if it meant that you would no longer exist," Knox wrote.
The book is will be released April 30 by publisher HarperCollins.