Kathryn Knott testified in court that she did not use any gay slurs the night she was involved in an assault against a gay couple. Past of tweets of hers that include gay slurs were permitted for use as evidence in the trial.

Kathryn Knott took the stand in her own defense Tuesday, denying that she attacked a pair of men walking in Center City Philadelphia more than a year ago and telling the jury she ran toward the escalating fight in order to defuse it.

“I had ran toward them because I wanted to make sure that no one was going to get hurt,” she said on the stand, a few hours before character witnesses praised her and her defense rested.

Under questioning from her attorney Louis Busico, Knott said she didn’t hit, strike, or punch anyone, and never used the word “faggot.” Of the evening in question, the 25-year-old told the jury, “It was horrifying to see what was happening. I had never been in that type of situation in my entire life.”

Knott is charged with aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, two counts of recklessly endangering another person and conspiracy in the assault that left one man in the hospital for five days with a broken face and a wiring device in his jaw for eight weeks.

Knott didn’t accept a plea deal offered to her by the district attorney, despite her co-defendants Philip R. Williams, 25, and Kevin J. Harrigan, 27, pleading guilty and being sentenced to only probation and community service.

During cross-examination, Knott was asked why it took several days after the incident for her to speak to police, even though she’d been a witness and her father was a police officer.

“I wasn’t going to present myself as a suspect and get fired from my job.”

Knott was later was fired from her job as an emergency room technician at Lansdale Hospital after her social media timeline showed an X-ray of a patient.

In fact, the jury saw several items Knott posted to social media today that critics have called anti-gay. For each item, Knott had prepared an explanation.

For a tweet, pictured above, that mentioned men with which she’d been dancing at a club who later began kissing:

“There was a couple aggressively making out and I’m not a PDA person.”


During cross-examination, Barry brought up her use of the word “dyke” in a tweet, and asked Knott if she thought it was a hateful word.

“I would disagree,” Knott said. Is it a slur? “I think our interpretation of words is different,” she replied.

Barry pressed on: Knott used the word “dyke.” Would she use those words to a gay person’s face?

“I have gay friends and family.”

The defense continues its presentation today.

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.