Amanda Knox, wrongfully convicted student-turned-criminal justice activist and writer, is engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Christopher Robinson

By Adam CarlsonJeff Truesdell and Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
November 16, 2018 05:13 PM
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Amanda Knox, wrongfully convicted college student-turned-criminal justice activist, writer and TV host, is engaged to her longtime boyfriend, she announced on Friday.

Christopher Robinson, a Seattle poet and author whom Knox has been dating since 2015, proposed via an elaborate, space-themed stunt involving a fake meteorite, a futuristic tablet and the phrase “the Knox-Robinson Coalescence.”

Knox, 31, first shared a clip of the proposal on her Instagram, writing, “It was just your average Sunday night, when suddenly…” She then linked to the full video on YouTube.

The footage shows Knox led outside by a strange noise only to discover the apparent meteorite — complete with ominous lighting and smoke — had crashed into Earth. Inside was a tablet and on it, in the elaborate diction of science fiction, was the history of her romance with Robinson.

As she finished reading, Robinson, 36, proposed (sans ring — as he explained in text at the end of the video, Knox doesn’t wear them).

“Will you stay with me until the last star in the last galaxy burns out and even after that?” he asked. “Amanda Marie Knox, will you marry me?

Gushing, she said yes, later asking, “How did you do this?”

“This insanity was over a year in the making,” Robinson wrote at the end of the video. “Special thanks to everyone who kept zipped lips.”

Amanda Knox (right) and Christopher Robinson at their Seattle home in 2017
| Credit: Amanda Friedman

How They Met and Fell in Love

Knox was not looking for love when, she told PEOPLE last year, it crept up on her again.

Following her release seven years ago from an Italian prison for a headline-grabbing murder she did not commit, the former study-abroad student returned to Seattle to rebuild what she could of her life, she said in an interview at her home.

“When I first came home, I was afraid that the prosecution’s narrative would forever limit and define me,” she said.

Knox and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were twice convicted in the 2007 murder of her 21-year-old British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy, when Knox was 20, and she spent four years in prison during her detention and prosecution.

Italy’s highest court eventually exonerated her and Sollecito in 2015. A third person, Rudy Guede, was also convicted of Kercher’s murder and remains behind bars.

“I was told that my best-case scenario would likely consist of writing my memoir and then disappearing,” Knox said. “Whether I deserved it or not, there was nothing I could do but accept that the story of the girl accused of murdering her roommate would be the frame through which people viewed and consumed me, and through which I had to pass to live my life.”

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am that things didn’t turn out that way,” she said.

Back in the States, Knox finished college, started writing an arts column for the West Seattle Herald and steadily found her voice as an activist for others facing wrongful convictions.

After breaking from Sollecito, Knox began another relationship. She was engaged to someone else in May 2015 when she wrote a review of War of the Encyclopaedists, a novel co-written by Robinson, and she later met Robinson at a local book launch.

“I was probably the only person at the party who didn’t really know who she was,” Robinson told PEOPLE last year at his home with Knox. “I knew [about] Italy and some legal stuff and something that shouldn’t have happened. But I didn’t really know her story.”

Some days later, Knox sat down with Robinson and his co-author at Robinson’s home to interview them. “Then we drank Scotch and watched Star Trek,” he said.

Knox recalled: “When we shook hands goodbye, he said, ‘I think you’re someone I should be friends with.’ “

It was an “amazing” moment, she said, “because that hadn’t happened to me yet, where I came home and someone I didn’t know — who I admired for their accomplishments but also thought of potentially as a peer — could be my friend.”

By late 2015, she and Robinson were dating. They moved in 2016 into a rented one-bedroom bungalow in Seattle along with Knox’s cats: Mr. Screams, Mr. Fats and Emil.

“I don’t want to get married for the sake of getting married,” Knox said then. “My hope is that I have a partner with whom I can continue to take on the world … and I very much love Chris and feel like he is my partner, and he would be a wonderful dad and we talk about it all the time. So I look forward to that part of my life that I had always taken for granted growing up and then had to let go of in prison.”

Robinson contrasted the Knox he knows with the woman who appears in the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary Amanda Knox, in which she participated.

“When something matters and she cares about it, she doesn’t just let it slide. She puts her foot down and stands up for what she believes is just,” he said. “But just because she’s that person doesn’t mean that we also don’t swing dance in the kitchen while we’re making dinner. We have a lot of fun together, and we let that whimsy carry us.”

Said Knox: “I imagine Christopher and I will have many conversations with our children over the years, beginning at the beginning.”