Italian author portrays jailed Amanda Knox as 'deep'
Amanda Knox, the American convicted of murdering a British student during a sex orgy, is a thoughtful and bookish girl with melancholic blue eyes, the author of a new book out on Tuesday told AFP.
The book by Rocco Girlanda, a member of the Italian parliament who says he has become a friend of Knox's since their first meeting after her conviction in 2009, is based on his numerous visits to her in prison in the city of Perugia.
"It was something I had to do for Amanda," Girlanda said in an interview in a hotel bar near the Montecitorio parliament building in central Rome.
He remembers their first meeting as "very cold" but the discrepancy between the image of Knox and her real character caught his interest, he said.
"I found she was a very different girl from what I imagined and was afraid of... I had to meet a girl described as a sex, drugs and rock'n'roll," he said.
"Instead from our conversations a very different person came out," he added.
The book is released just over a month ahead of the start of Knox's appeal hearing on November 24. She is also due in court on November on a charge of slander for alleging she was beaten by police during her interrogation.
Girlanda emphasised that he never spoke to Knox about the case or the trial.
His book, entitled "Take Me With You: Talks with Amanda Knox in Prison", is sympathetic but does not express any personal view in her favour.
"Amanda is a curious girl compared to other 23-year-olds. In a good way. Amanda is a girl who goes in depth on everything," Girlanda said.
"She reads a huge amount of books. Every time I visit I bring her a dozen books and within 15 days she's read them all," he said.
"She's a deep girl," he added.
Asked about her current mood, Girlanda said: "Amanda is serene. She thinks about a future in freedom, whether in a week, in a year or in 20 years."
"Every now and then though a melancholic shadow passes through those beautiful blue eyes," he added.
© 2010 AFP