‘I am afraid’: Amanda Knox breaks down at Italy forum

Amanda Knox told an Italian legal forum Saturday she feared "harassment" and "new accusations" four years after she was acquitted of the gruesome killing of her British housemate.

'I am afraid': Amanda Knox breaks down at Italy forum
Acquitted murder suspect Amanda Knox broke down at the "Trial by Media" session at the Criminal Justice Festival in the northern city of Modena. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
Knox, from Seattle, spent four years behind bars after the half-naked body of fellow exchange student Meredith Kercher was found on November 2, 2007 in a bedroom of the apartment they shared in the central Italian city of Perugia.
Now, the 31-year-old is controversially back in Italy for a discussion panel entitled “Trial by Media” at the Criminal Justice Festival in the northern city of Modena.
“To tell the truth I am afraid, afraid of being harassed, insulted, afraid of being trapped and new accusations being directed at me,” Knox said.
“I have come back because it was something I had to do — there was a time when I felt at home in this beautiful country and I hope one day to recapture this feeling,” Knox, speaking in Italian, told the forum, her voice often close to breaking.
Amanda Knox said that her return to Italy was 'something I had to do'. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
'Many think I am wicked'
“I know that, despite my acquittal, I remain a controversial figure in the face of public opinion, especially here in Italy. I know many people think I am wicked,” said the American.
“Some have even suggested that by being here I am once again traumatising the Kercher family and profaning Meredith's memory,” she went on. “They are wrong,” she insisted.
“The fact I continue to be held responsible for the Kerchers' pain shows how powerful false narratives can be and how they can undermine justice, especially when reinforced and amplified by the media,” said Knox.
The conference has been organised by a group of Modena lawyers and the Italy Innocence Project, which focuses “on the issues related to wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice”.
“The Italy Innocence Project didn't yet exist when I was wrongly convicted in Perugia,” Knox tweeted in May.
From the outset, her case sparked lurid headlines in Britain and Knox's hometown of Seattle, Washington.
Prosecutors described the murder as a drug-fuelled sex game gone awry involving Knox, her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and an Ivorian drifter, Rudy Guede.
Sollecito was acquitted alongside Knox, but Guede was convicted in a separate “fast track” trial and is serving a 16-year jail term in Italy.
Defence lawyers argued their clients could not get a fair trial because of the media frenzy over the murder, with lurid headlines seizing on the young US student's nickname “Foxy Knoxy”.
Knox left Italy after she was acquitted on appeal in 2011.
In an essay published online on Wednesday, she recalled fleeing the country “in a high-speed chase, paparazzi literally ramming the back of my stepdad's rental car”.
Knox's sentence was raised to 28 years in prison when her conviction was upheld in 2014, though both she and Sollecito were finally acquitted by Italy's top court the following year and she returned home to work as a journalist and commentator.

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Netflix to launch ‘illuminating’ Amanda Knox documentary

Streaming site Netflix is set to launch a new documentary on Amanda Knox, who was twice convicted and then acquitted of killing her roommate in Italy.

Netflix to launch 'illuminating' Amanda Knox documentary
Amanda Knox in court for her first appeal of her murder conviction. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP pool/AFP

The streaming site describes the documentary, which will go live on Friday, September 30th, as “illuminating”.

In the trailer for 'Amanda Knox', which can be viewed below, the 29-year-old describes her excitement ahead of her year studying in Perugia, central Italy, and is tearful as she says: “I was a kid.”

However, she was soon caught up in a murder trial after her roommate, Brit Meredith Kercher, was found dead in their shared home in November 2007.

The documentary had its global premiere at Toronto Film Festival, but will be accessible for Netflix-users around the world – including Italy – from Friday.

Filmmakers Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn show the effect that the murder case, as well as the tabloid and press coverage, had on Knox and others involved in the case.

It features interviews with Knox, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito who was also convicted of Kercher's murder, and former Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa, who published Knox's prison diaries, among others.

They began working on the film in 2011, when Knox and Sollecito first appealed their convictions for murder; they were successful in their appeal and were acquitted of the crime. The pair were convicted a second time in January 2014, but in March 2015 Italy's Supreme Court found them not guilty, bringing an end to the eight-year legal drama.

READ ALSO: 'Meredith Kercher must not be forgotten'

“We saw that the entire world was fascinated by what, at its core, is a tragedy. We wanted to understand how something could be consumed that way—and what would it be like for these people caught up in the story living inside of this?” Blackhurst told Newsweek on Monday.

Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights accepted a case submitted by Knox's lawyers over mistreatment she allegedly suffered at the hands of Italian authorities during the investigation.

The 29-year-old claims she was subjected to an unfair trial and mistreatment during questioning – allegations which have never been investigated by the Italian authorities.

In January, the American was cleared of slandering police officers and a prosecutor involved in the investigation.

READ MORE: Italy clears Knox and Sollecito of murder

Amanda Knox vs Italy: European court accepts rights violation case Photo: AFP