Amanda Knox, who was convicted and then acquitted of murdering a British exchange student in Italy, has opened up about her experience of romance in prison.
Knox served nearly four years in jail for the killing of Meredith Kercher before her conviction was overturned by Italy's Supreme Court in 2015.
In an essay for Broadly magazine entitled 'What romance in prison actually looks like', Knox has revealed for the first time how a female inmate tried to initiate a sexual relationship with her three years into her imprisonment in Capanne, Umbria.
"The idea of women in prison brings out the horny teenage boy in many of us," Knox wrote before she shared details of how the woman, whom she calls 'Leny,' tried to befriend her.
"Leny wanted to hold hands. 'I've changed women before,' she'd tell me. 'I can do things to you that no man can.' I felt objectified and I'd get annoyed. 'You can't change me,' I'd respond. She'd think I was playing hard to get. One day, Leny kissed me."
Knox continued: "I gritted my teeth and half-smiled, wavering between embarrassment and anger. 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."
She said she broke off the friendship "since she couldn't respect my boundaries," but the woman continued to send her letters and CDs signed "Love always, Leny" after she was released from prison.
Knox also highlighted that she "didn't need relationships in prison as much as other inmates did," but she acknowledged how female prisoners often resorted to having sexual relationships with one another.
"It was common for inmates to form an intimate partnership," she wrote. "Inmates had crushes on one another. They passed love letters through the bars…and gave each other presents. There were tearful breakups, and sometimes fist fights between new partners and exes. Many of these women will have identified as heterosexual – colloquially, they were 'gay for the stay'."
In 2015, Knox announced she was engaged to musician Colin Sutherland who wrote to her while she was in prison. She has written a number of essays for Broadly, including one which examined why false confessions are extracted from innocent women.