Amanda Knox has said that Gypsy Rose Blanchard is not yet free and that her mother, who was fatally stabbed by Blanchard’s boyfriend, “had it coming” for the years of abuse she inflicted upon her daughter.
Knox, who was wrongfully convicted of killing her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Italy in 2007, made the statements in a piece she penned for The Free Press on Saturday in which she revealed her own difficulties in trying to return to a normal life after being freed from prison in 2011 and fully exonerated.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard, 32, was released from prison late last month having pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2016, when she was 24, for her role in plotting to kill her abusive mother, Claudine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, in their Missouri home in 2015 with help from her former boyfriend at the time.
Gypsy Rose’s case, and documentaries on her story, have propelled her into the spotlight, and she has amassed millions of followers online, seemingly overnight.
And while she was freed on Dec. 28, Knox believes that the public persona of Gypsy Rose, 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 she is blundering into freedom in the exact same way as I did.”
“It’s taken me over a decade to finally feel like I’m in control of my life, no longer trapped by my own story. I’ve learned that I am more than the worst thing that ever happened to me, but where there is value in sharing my story with others, I’m entitled to do so,” Knox wrote. “The same goes for Gypsy. She is more than the horrible abuse she suffered, she is more than a conspirator to murder. And now that she’s admitted to what she’s done and served her time, she doesn’t owe anybody anything.”
Experts believe Dee Dee Blanchard had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological illness in which she projected fake illnesses onto her daughter in an effort to receive attention or material items out of sympathy for the victim.
Dee Dee convinced Gypsy that she had a litany of illnesses, including leukemia, and was years younger than her actual age. She also forced her daughter to sit in a wheelchair, made her take medication she did not need, shaved her hair, removed her teeth and fed her through a tube in her stomach.
Blanchard and her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Paul Godejohn, were arrested in connection with Dee Dee’s fatal stabbing in 2015. The next year, Blanchard was sentenced to a decade behind bars, while Godejohn was sentenced to life.
“If you know anything about Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s case…you know that 48-year-old Clauddine ‘Dee Dee’ Blanchard had it coming,” Knox wrote.
“Gypsy may not realize that many people admire her not because she admits that what she did was wrong or even because she survived and escaped horrific abuse, but because, deep down, they feel that Dee Dee deserved to be murdered.”
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 spending four years in custody. In 2008, Rudy Hermann Guede, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the death of Kercher and was released in 2021.
“When I emerged from prison it was into a world that had already decided who I was, what I’d done, and what I deserved,” Knox wrote. “I’ve been free for over twelve years, and I’m still wrestling back my name. Now, Gypsy will have to do the same.”
Knox shared how the public and the media painted a particular picture of her character as a “femme fatale” while certain journalists asked her unpleasant and invasive questions, even though she was innocent of the charges in the case.
“Gypsy’s story is perfect fodder for our twisted media environment that caters almost pornographically to our voyeuristic and judgmental tendencies, especially when women are the victims or perpetrators of violence. I know from experience,” Knox wrote.
Knox said that she needed to transcend the image of being “the girl accused of murder” and had to discuss parts of her case in public, but at the same time chose to keep much of her personal life private. She said that Gypsy Rose would face similar dilemmas.
“It will take time for Gypsy to learn who she is on the other side of the tragedy that turned her into a household name,” Knox wrote.
“There’s a freedom to be found in keeping that growth and healing private.”
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.