In his first interview since he and ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox were released from Italian prison after their murder convictions were overturned, Raffaele Sollecito said the pair’s romantic relationship is over because of the “cruel injustice” they suffered.
“Our love was like a seed that was not allowed to grow because it was brutally stamped on. We were both victims of a cruel injustice and our relationship was overcome,” he said in an interview with Italian television, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 27, have been the subject of many news stories – and a great deal of speculation — since their murder convictions in the death of Knox’s roommate Meredith Kercher were vacated by an Italian appeals court on Oct. 3.
The prosecution had charged that Knox and Sollecito killed Kercher in a cottage that the two young women shared in Perugia, Italy, while they were studying there. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 and Knox was sentenced to 26 years, while Sollecito got a 25-year sentence. Both were freed after an independent report by court-appointed experts cast serious doubts on the evidence that police collected.
Since then, both families have kept very low profiles, and Friday’s interview on the program “Quarto Grado” was Sollecito’s first time being interviewed since he got out of prison.
He wished Knox the best for the future, and said he had “affection” for her.
The interview contradicts other supposed interviews in British and Italian media in which Sollecito reportedly claims to have been in daily contact with Knox and planned to visit her in America before Christmas. Sollecito’s father, Francesco Sollecito, has said those media reports were lies.
Raffaele Sollecito confirmed that Knox had invited him to visit her in Seattle, but said he would not be accepting the offer anytime soon.
“We were both victims of a cruel injustice and our relationship was overcome by this tragedy. Our lives are linked by circumstances but now they are very different,” he said during the interview.
He also said he had reached out the family of the victim, but “found the doors closed.”
Kercher, a student at the University of Leeds, was studying in Perugia for a year when she was killed. She had been sharing an apartment with Knox, an American student, and two Italian women. She was found partially nude and with her throat slit in her bedroom on Nov. 2, 2007.
A third person, Rudy Guede, 22, was also convicted and originally sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the 21-year-old student’s murder. His sentence was later reduced to 16 years on appeal.
ABC News’ Colleen Curry contributed to this report.