Amanda Knox says she isn't buying Holmes and Maxwell's defenses

Amanda Knox says Ghislaine Maxwell and Elizabeth Holmes’ trials are giving her ‘flashbacks’ – but she isn’t ‘buying’ their defenses that blame all their alleged crimes on men

  • Amanda Knox wrote for Bari Weiss’s Substack page Common Sense on Monday
  • She said that she out of anyone can ’empathize and sympathize’ with Ghislaine Maxwell and Elizabeth Holmes
  • Maxwell is on trial in New York City accused of sexually trafficking young girls for Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 
  • Holmes is on trial in California accused of defrauding investors by lying about her Theranos blood test technology
  • Maxwell says she was also a victim of Epstein and is being made a ‘scapegoat’ 
  • Holmes says she was under the influence of Sunny Balwani, her co-founder and much older boyfriend
  • Knox, who was convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher in 2008 then acquitted of it in 2011, says it’s ‘hard’ to believe their defenses
  • She says that neither woman has shown enough sympathy for the real victims  

Amanda Knox in a recent photo she shared on social media 

Amanda Knox says the ongoing criminal trials of Ghislaine Maxwell and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes are giving her ‘flashbacks’ to her own trial, but that she isn’t buying either other woman’s defense that their alleged crimes were all the fault of a man. 

Knox, writing for Bari Weiss’s Substack channel Common Sense, said that while she out of anyone ‘can sympathize’ with Maxwell and Holmes, she isn’t convinced of their claims that they were coerced by Jeffrey Epstein and Sunny Balwani, Holmes’ Theranos co-founder and ex-boyfriend. 

Maxwell is on trial for sexual trafficking. Her accusers say she helped Epstein, who died in 2019,  abuse girls by recruiting them, grooming them and sometimes sexually abusing them herself. She denies the claims. 

Holmes is on trial in California for fraud. She is accused of knowingly defrauding investors, doctors and patients by selling them her Theranos technology blood tests while knowing they didn’t work. She says she was coerced by Balwani, who was her much-older boyfriend at the time. 

Knox, writing for Weiss’s Common Sense on Monday, said neither woman has expressed sufficient remorse for the alleged victims of their crimes for their defenses to hold water. 

‘I know very well what it’s like to be scapegoated for a man’s crimes and to be a victim of true coercion. If there is anyone who can empathize—and sympathize—with these two women, it’s me. 

Ghislaine Maxwell is shown in a recent court sketch. No cameras are allowed inside her sex trafficking trial in New York City

Maxwell claims she is being made a scapegoat for Jeffrey Epstein, the late pedophile financier who she worked for for years. Epstein killed himself in 2019. Knox writes that while there is no doubt Maxwell’s fate wouldn’t be as bleak as it is now if Epstein were alive but that she is charged with her own crimes and the evidence is ‘damning’ 

‘But even for me, it’s not easy…I can’t help but balk at their defense strategies, which seem like a refusal to be held accountable. 

‘While it’s true that even powerful women can yet remain subservient to powerful men, we shouldn’t forget that the most vulnerable people in these equations are not Maxwell and Holmes, but the victims they are trying to brush aside or discredit,’  she writes. 

While Maxwell claims she was a victim of Epstein and is being made the ‘scapegoat’ of his crimes because his no longer alive, Knox says the evidence against her is ‘pretty damning’. 

‘If Epstein were still alive—if the chief culprit were still around for us to hate—there’s no doubt Maxwell’d be subject to much less vitriol. But she’s been charged with her own crimes, not Epstein’s, and the evidence against her is pretty damning.

‘The alleged victims claim that she didn’t just go along with Epstein’s innumerable deceptions, but that she was an active participant in finding and grooming his victims,’ she writes. 

Holmes may well have been coerced by Balwani is to blame but it remains to be seen if a jury will believe her.

‘Holmes has painted herself as a victim of Stockholm syndrome. She’s asking us to believe that, very gradually, over many years, Balwani brought her under his spell. That’s possible. Even though Holmes was, until recently, a celebrated, feminist icon, it is conceivable that Balwani did bring her under his spell.

‘But in this he-said-she-said situation, the question is: Will the jury believe her?’  

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is shown in court  in California. She is charged with fraud. She is shown holding hands with her mother and her husband 

Holmes says she was under the coercion of Sunny Balwani, her much older boyfriend and Theranos co-founder

‘The nature of the two women’s crimes are different, but the accusations that have been lodged against them—and the defense they’ve mustered in response to those accusations—are similar. Both are accused of deception, manipulation, and exploitation. Both are said to be Lady Macbeth.

Knox was convicted of killing English student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, in 2007. The conviction was overturned then she was convicted again. It was eventually overturned again in 2014 by Italy’s highest court

‘And both insist that it is the men in their lives that are the real criminals,’ she writes. 

Regardless of the outcome in either trial, Knox says they both indicate how women are often blamed for the crimes of men, like she was. 

‘There’s nothing quite like the high of hating and punishing women accused of terrible crimes. This fact is reason enough to be careful when we want to see them burn,’ she writes. 

Knox was convicted and then exonerated of murdering British exchange student Meredith Kercher while they were studying and living together in Perugia, Italy, in 2007. 

The real killer was Rudy Guede, who had broken into the home and raped Kercher before violently killing her. 

Knox, who now lives in Seattle, was blamed for the crime and made a worldwide villain known as ‘Foxy Knoxy’. 

The Italian police suggested that she had orchestrated Meredith’s murder with her Italian boyfriend, and that it was all part of a sex game gone wrong. 

Rudy Guede was convicted of the killing. He was released from prison last month but he still claims Knox had something to do with the murder

She returned to the US in 2011, after her conviction was overturned.

She was then convicted in absence again in 2013, and the second conviction was overturned in 2014 by Italy’s highest court. 

Knox recently welcomed a baby, which she said helped her reclaim her identity 

Guede has now completed his prison sentence for the murder. 

Last month, Knox pleaded with him on Twitter to clear her name – which he is refusing to do.

Upon his release in November, Guede told The Sun: ‘The court convicted me of being an accessory to murder purely because my DNA was there but the (legal) documents say others were there and that I did not inflict the fatal wounds.

Asked if he was speaking about Knox and Sollecito, he told the paper: ‘I don’t want to say anything other than she should read the documents.

‘As I told you, they say others were there and that I did not inflict the stab wounds.

‘I know the truth and she knows the truth.’ 

Knox’s husband Christopher Robinson hit back, saying: ‘the lies of Rudy Guede who without a doubt killed Meredith Kercher. ‘This is cruel to Amanda as well as the Kercher family.’  

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