Amanda Knox says Gypsy Rose Blanchard is not yet free – and that her mother ‘expected it’ after years of abuse
Amanda Knox has said Gypsy Rose Blanchard is not yet free and that her mother, who was fatally stabbed by Blanchard’s boyfriend, “gained weight” because of the years of abuse she inflicted on her daughter.
Knox, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Italy in 2007, made the statements in a piece she wrote for The Free Press on Saturday, revealing her own difficulties in trying to return to return to a normal life after she was released from prison in 2011 and fully exonerated.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard, 32, was released from prison late last month after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in 2016, when she was 24, for her role in the plot to kill her abusive mother, Claudine “Dee Dee.” Blanchard in their Missouri home. at home in 2015 with the help of her then ex-boyfriend.
Gypsy Rose’s case and the documentaries about her story have thrust her into the spotlight and she has amassed millions of followers online seemingly overnight.
And although she was released on December 28, Knox believes Gypsy Rose’s public persona and the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death may be difficult to overcome.
“She may not yet realize that she has entered a new kind of prison: the prison of public opinion,” Knox wrote. “When I look at Gypsy, even though she was guilty and I was innocent, I see her rushing to freedom in exactly the same way I did.”
“It took me more than ten years to finally feel in control of my life and no longer trapped in my own story. I have learned that I am more than the worst thing that ever happened to me, but if there is value in sharing my story with others, I have the right to do so,” Knox wrote. “The same goes for Gypsy. She is more than the terrible abuse she suffered, she is more than a conspirator to murder. And now that she’s admitted what she did and served her time, she doesn’t owe anyone anything.
Experts believe Dee Dee Blanchard had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental illness in which she projected fake illnesses onto her daughter in an attempt to gain attention or material things out of sympathy for the victim.
Dee Dee convinced Gypsy that she had a litany of diseases, including leukemia, and that she was years younger than her actual age. She also forced her daughter to sit in a wheelchair, made her take medication she didn’t need, shaved her hair, pulled her teeth and fed her through a tube in her stomach.
Blanchard and her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Paul Godejohn, were arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of Dee Dee in 2015. The following year, Blanchard was sentenced to ten years behind bars, while Godejohn was sentenced to life in prison.
“If you know anything about the case of Gypsy Rose Blanchard… you know that 48-year-old Clauddine ‘Dee Dee’ Blanchard was coming,” Knox wrote.
“Gypsy may not realize that many people admire her, not because she admits what she did was wrong or even because she survived and escaped horrific abuse, but because deep down they believe Dee Dee deserved to be killed.”
Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of the murder and sexual assault of her former roommate Kercher. She was acquitted in 2011 after four years in pretrial detention. In 2008, Rudy Hermann Guede, an immigrant from Ivory Coast, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for Kercher’s death and was released in 2021.
“When I came out of prison, I found myself in a world that had already decided who I was, what I had done, and what I deserved,” Knox wrote. ‘I have been free for over twelve years, and I still struggle with my name. Now the gypsy will have to do the same.”
Knox shared how the public and media painted a certain image of her character as a “femme fatale,” while certain journalists asked her unpleasant and intrusive questions, even though she was innocent of the charges in the case.
“The Gypsy story is perfect fodder for our distorted media environment that plays almost pornographically on our voyeuristic and judgmental tendencies, especially when women are the victims or perpetrators of violence. I know from experience,” Knox wrote.
Knox said she had to transcend the image of “the girl accused of murder” and discuss parts of her case publicly, but at the same time chose to keep much of her personal life private. She said Gypsy Rose would face similar dilemmas.
“It will take some time for Gypsy to find out who she is on the other side of the tragedy that made her a household name,” Knox wrote.
“There is a freedom in keeping that growth and healing private.”
Audrey Conklin and Gabriel Hays of Fox News contributed to this report.
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