Raffaele Sollecito, the former lover of exonerated murder suspect Amanda Knox says he is still “friends” with Knox — but “nothing more.” Sollecito was previously convicted of helping the American college student murder her roommate.
Now, the 31-year-old Italian told the media on Monday that he hopes to move on with his life.
“I’m so glad for her, but for me psychologically having all these connections and grievances and all the people talking about my relationship with her really took me down,” Sollecito said, speaking publicly for the first time since an Italian high court threw out the murder convictions against the pair Friday. “I want to be detached from this bond. Not that I have anything against her.”
It was only nine months ago that Raffaele Sollecito appeared to have turned on his onetime girlfriend, questioning her alibi in the gruesome killing of British student Meredith Kercher on October 31, 2007.
For seven years, Sollecito maintained that he and Knox were together the entire night — watching television and having sex, as Knox claimed — and that Knox could not, therefore, have taken part in Kercher’s murder, which Italian prosecutors initially claimed resulted from a bizarre three-way sex game of some sort.
The 21-year-old Kercher was found with numerous stab wounds and with her throat cut. She had been sexually assaulted as well, police said.
Two years later, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of murdering and sexually assaulting Kercher. But in 2011, the convictions were reversed — until last year when Italian courts changed their minds again, ordering another trial for the pair.
But last July, Sollecito changed his story saying he was no longer “sure” that the pair, who had met only a week earlier, were actually together the entire time.
Sollecito also noted last year that he found Knox’s actions “peculiar” after the couple found Kercher’s bloody corpse on the floor of the cottage where the roommates lived. He said then that he was particularly troubled by the fact that Knox took a shower before informing the police that a murder had taken place.
On Monday, Sollecito said that he and Knox spoke on the phone after learning Friday that their shared ordeal was finally over. He said they wished each other well, but that they plan to have no further involvement.
Responding to a question about whether he was, in fact, the boyfriend of Amanda Knox, the Italian shook his head.
“I prefer to be known as Raffaele Sollecito who is moving on with his life,” he said, despite claiming that he and Amanda Knox are still friends.
[Image: Franco Origlia and Oli Scarff/Getty Images]