Last week, I woke up to the following messages from Paulina:
7:14 AM i am so fascinated by the foxy knoxy trial.
i need inside scoop!
8:20 AM just read this. Do the Italians really think this girl (and her boyfriend) are guilty? Give me the
inside scoop! How was your bday? xx
Apparently, it was the first time she had ever heard of Amanda Knox, American on trial for murder in Italy. I have to admit, the response that popped into my head was the following:
Eighteen months ago, I was on the proverbial Amanda Knox tip. As soon as the story broke, I was hooked and every day, I found myself cruising Italian news publications for information. It was an obsession and a secret until my friend Peter told me that he and his boyfriend had daily skype video dates to discuss the crime, the backstory, the Facebook page. Peter said the story was more captivating and just as reckless and immoral as any Perez Hilton news. For a while, he and I were exchanging Amanda aggiornamenti (updates) until the sensationalism started to wane. It was the typical progression: scandalous photos, “leaked” personal information, finger pointing, false accusations, police agressions and prison time. Amanda was in jail. Basta.
Now Amanda is out, well, technically out on the front pages of newspapers after having appeared in court in person, which is one reason why a Los Angelena like Paulina has finally heard the story. The other reason is the Knox family hired a PR person. (See NYC Caribbean Ragazza: Amanda Knox Takes The Stand) to counter all the negative image and press. The question is no longer “Did She Do It Herself? Did She Mastermind Boyfriend and Friend?” but “Did She Do It At All? Is She Villainess or Innocent Victim?”
To Paulina, I would say that there is no scoop. Amanda Knox is accused of a crime and by Italian law, she is guilty until proven innocent and is thus serving time. (An under-indictment friend once told me that serving time in advance can be a good deal as it gets deducted from final sentence.) Whether she is a stellar student/soccer player or bloodthirsty Satanic cult killer, we will never know. The information is convoluted and hazy, reminiscent of Brokedown Palace (best friends who lied about heroin smuggling, blame each other and are thrown in a Thai jail). The denials and accusations are similar to Erika/Omar (a couple found guilty of killing her mother and four-year-old brother).
What we do know is that she has several strikes against her: she is not from here, she is too pretty, she posted angst writing on Facebook and most importantly, she was oblivious, whether knowingly or unknowingly, to her actions on the morning of November 1 and the day she bought the infamous thong. On the flip side, she speaks Italian fluently (even the illusive subjunctive!) and she has a strong PR team who seems to have won over Time Magazine and the New York Times. Next step would be to hire a make-up artist because I know that lip blister is not helping her image.