Tag Archive: ABC News


Amanda Knox, who has been in seclusion since her release from an Italian prison, is finally venturing out.

Her return to the public was no more than a trip to a store for toothpaste and a chocolate bar, but it was a deliciously simple act that had been denied her during her four years in an Italian prison.

Ironically, one of her last acts in prison was the inmate ritual of snapping her toothbrush and carrying it outside the walls of Capanne prison before throwing it away.

Knox’s foray into the public comes as more details of her prison ordeal emerge, specifically how she was sexually harassed.

Knox’s younger sister Deanna told ABC News that she saw the remnants of the harassment firsthand while visiting her sister in prison.

“There was something right in front of me and so I put my arm over it,” Deanna Knox said.

Deanna Knox said she covered up scribbled words that read “Amanda is a whore.”

On one occasion, a male guard reportedly entered Knox’s cell alone, despite a policy against it, and made sexual remarks, ABC News has confirmed. On another occasion, a high ranking prison official allegedly ordered Knox into his office at night and wanted to talk about sex.

Amanda Knox Was Sexually Harassed in Prison

“I think the Italian courts…the first time around practically made sure that Amanda was going to be harassed in prison since they made her sex life so much of a focus of the first trial, ” said Vanity Fair’s Judy Bachrach who has covered the case extensively.

Shortly after her arrest, prison officials tricked Knox, falsely telling her that her medical check-up revealed that she was HIV positive and asked her for a list of lovers for health reasons. The list that a distraught Knox provided to officials was soon leaked and became headlines in tabloid newspapers.

“Please oh please,” she wrote in her prison diary at the time. “Let it not be true. I don’t want to die.”

ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams said that Knox could have the basis for a lawsuit but filing one would require a return to Italy.

Knox, 24, was released from prison earlier this month when she and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, successfully appealed their murder conviction. They had been accused of murdering Knox’s British roommate Meredith Kercher in a cottage the two women shared in Perugia, Italy.

Sollecito has not spoken publicly since his release but his father told the press that his son is getting used to being at home.

“It’s as if he has been reborn and he is getting used to the simple things in life again, things that he has not been able to do for four years and this will take some time,” said Francesco Sollecito.

Meanwhile, a juror who overturned Knox’s conviction told Italy’s state-run RAI television that he has no doubt that Knox and Sollecito are innocent.

“I saw the faces of these two kids, and they couldn’t bluff. They didn’t bluff. My point of view is that these kids weren’t guilty. They weren’t there,” said Mauro Chialli.

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Amanda Knox’s dad: ABC producer gave kids her room


NEW YORK (AP) — The courtship of Amanda Knox’s family by American television networks eager to win an exclusive interview with her extended to providing temporary accommodations for two of her younger sisters.

Knox’s father, Curt Knox, said Friday that an ABC producer let his daughters Ashley, 16, and Delaney, 13, stay in her room while court was in session. He said a CBS producer did, too, and an NBC producer offered to.

Amanda Knox, 24, returned to the United States on Tuesday after an Italian court overturned her murder conviction in the death of her roommate. The former exchange student from Seattle had been in custody since 2007.

Networks are competing for an interview with her, even before it’s clear if she’ll even tell her story in that venue. There has been increased attention lately on how networks get these interviews, with ABC declaring this summer it would no longer pay interview subjects to license photos or videos, seen as a dodge of the common journalistic practice of not paying people to tell their stories.

Producers might be able to help the Knoxes see if they could find care for their teenage daughters, but offering something with a specific monetary value — their hotel rooms — isn’t a good idea, said Kelly McBride, senior faculty member for ethics at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank.

Even without a specific expectation of something in return, “it is unfair to the source because they are in a position of vulnerability,” McBride said.

Curt Knox said that although ABC producer Nikki Battiste permitted his children to use her room, she was doing her job and did not babysit the teenagers. He said Battiste wasn’t in the room with them.

ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider said the network didn’t have a problem with Battiste’s actions.

Knox said that CBS producer Sabina Castelfranco also permitted the children to use her room. But CBS spokeswoman Sonya McNair denied this, saying Castelfranco turned down the request when asked and checked out of the small hotel. McNair said it was unclear whether the room was made available to the children after Castelfranco checked out.

Knox said NBC producer Stephanie Siegel offered her room but it wasn’t used. NBC spokeswoman Lauren Kapp denied that such an offer was made.

Battiste and Siegel also accompanied Knox’s wife and the two girls on a shopping trip near the Italian courtroom but didn’t buy anything for the family, he said.

It’s unclear whether any efforts by networks to ingratiate themselves with Knox will make any difference.

“The kind gesture to allow my younger daughters, who couldn’t get into the courtroom due to age, will not have any influence as to which network, if any, that Amanda may choose to go with in the future,” he said.

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