Out of their shared experience of being vilified in the court of public opinion, two infamous figures have found friendship: Amanda Knox and Lorena Bobbitt. “Lorena and I have a lot in common,” Knox told Fox 5 ahead of a true-crime festival they headlined in D.C., adding that their coming together is “a historic moment in the history of shamed and vilified women.”
At first glance, the two cases might not appear to bear much resemblance: Knox was incarcerated and then exonerated four years later for the 2007 murder of her study-abroad housemate, whereas Bobbitt was put on trial in 1993 for cutting off her husband’s penis. But both women have faced gratuitously cruel treatment at the hands of the tabloids. Knox was disparaged and sexualized during her trial and given the nickname “Foxy Knoxy.” And while Bobbitt repeatedly stated that she had been abused by her husband, she was mocked on Saturday Night Live and her face was plastered across tabloid covers with salacious headlines.
But over the past few years, as Bobbitt told Fox, the women have been eager to “[reclaim their] narratives” through documentaries that have helped humanize them: Knox was the subject of a Netflix documentary in 2016, and an Amazon Prime docuseries released earlier this year revisited Bobbitt’s story. “Now people know the stories and the truth about what happened,” Bobbitt said. “It is very important for us to get the message across.”
“You don’t see shamed and vilified women coming forward and supporting each other,” Knox told Fox. “And calling into account all those forces that are turning us into characters that are in morality plays and exploiting our trauma for the sake of profit and entertainment.”