American student Amanda Knox was a young woman in love when jailed for the murder of a roommate in an Italian university town, nothing like the man-eater portrayed in court, a lawyer for her ex-boyfriend said on Tuesday.
Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer likened Knox to cartoon femme fatale Jessica Rabbit and said she was a besotted young woman who barely spoke Italian when she was accused of killing her British roommate. She was sentenced to 26 years in jail.
Knox has been described as "diabolical", a "witch" and a "she-devil" during three days of a court hearing into an appeal against verdicts that found her and Sollecito guilty of murdering Meredith Kercher in 2007 during a sex game gone wrong.
"Knox could be compared to Jessica Rabbit," said Giulia Bongiorno, a lawyer for Sollecito. "She may appear to be a man-eater. In reality, she was a faithful woman in love."
Jessica Rabbit is a voluptuous but faithful femme fatale from the 1988 movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", where she famously says "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way".
Bongiorno argued there was no evidence linking her client with the murder, saying he was implicated in the crime just because he happened to be dating Knox at the time.
Kercher's half-naked body with a slit throat and more than 40 wounds was found in November 2007 in a pool of blood in the apartment she shared with Knox in the hilltop Umbrian town popular with foreigners studying Italian.
A verdict in the trial is expected at the end of the week or early next week. Knox's family has said they are hopeful she will walk free after nearly four years behind bars thanks to a forensics review that discredited two pieces of DNA evidence used to convict the Seattle student and her ex-boyfriend.
The American student has won sympathy from many in the United States, where she is widely seen as an innocent abroad who fell into the clutches of an unfair justice system.
Rudy Guede, an Ivorian drifter with a criminal record, is also serving time for taking part in Kercher's murder.
All three found guilty have maintained their innocence. (Reporting by Deepa Babington; editing by Elizabeth Piper)