Amanda Knox served four years in prison after being wrongly accused and convicted of murdering her British roommate while studying abroad in Italy.
On Election Night with results still up in the air, Knox made a dark joke. She wrote on Twitter: “Whatever happens, the next four years can’t be as bad as that four-year study abroad I did in Italy, right?”
The tweet racked up thousands of likes, but Knox was also heavily criticized for being insensitive to the murder victim’s family. (She was also accused in the comments of having gotten away with murder, even though she was acquitted in 2011 and fully exonerated in 2015, and another person was convicted of the crime.)
British broadcaster and television personality Piers Morgan rebuked Knox, saying, “I can think of a 21-year-old British girl named Meredith Kercher who had a far worse time than you in Italy. Remember her? How dare you make a joke of it.. you disgusting piece of work.”
But Knox didn’t back down. She responded to Morgan by saying, “Occasionally I joke about my wrongful conviction & imprisonment in Italy. I’m allowed to joke about my own trauma. I didn’t joke about the Kercher’s. I didn’t kill Meredith. Rudy Guede did, & you know it. Stop exploiting Meredith’s name to victim blame me. You’re pathetic.”
The story of Meredith Kercher’s death was heavily sensationalized in the press (especially the British tabloid media), largely due to the fact Amanda Knox was an attractive young college student and the Italian authorities put forth a false theory that Knox killed Kercher in a sex-game-gone-wrong.
As awful as the situation was for Kercher and her loved ones, Knox is still allowed to joke about her own trauma. She was not involved in what happened to her roommate, and she did go through something terrible of her own as a result. Amanda Knox was a victim too. Gallows humor does not diminish the tragedy of a bad situation, but it does help people cope. It’s unfair to judge someone who has gone through that situation, or to dictate how they ought to react. And it is especially unfair criticism considering the media helped fuel wild speculation in order to get clicks, and now Amanda Knox will live under a shadow of guilt and suspicion for the rest of her life, in addition to the trauma of having been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for murder. She made a dark joke. Give her a break.
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