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A Tearful Amanda Knox Reveals Why She's Still Sometimes 'Genuinely Afraid,' Years After Exoneration
Upon returning back to Italy in June for the first time since she was acquitted in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox said people sent "messages describing how they’re going to murder me."
Amanda Knox has been a free woman for nearly five years, cleared of a wrongful murder conviction in Italy, but she still struggles with a sometimes judgmental public that hasn’t moved forward like she has, or at least hopes to.
Ever since Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were charged in the 2007 murder and sexual assault of her 21-year-old British roommate Meredith Kercher back in Perugia, Italy, Fox has been a tabloid spectacle.
Today, Knox is a 32-year-old woman who has moved on with her life; she's married and launched a true-crime podcast back in her native Seattle, Washington.
However, it's the public who she believes won't stop condemning her for Kercher’s death. And she blames some for turning her into a kind of murderous gimmick.
In an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt, Knox speaks candidly about life after she was found innocent.
Knox, who was pilloried by tabloid headlines referring to her as “Foxy Knoxy,” sobbed when asked if she cared about others' perceptions of her.
“I wonder if people would care about my experience beyond whether they think I’m guilty or innocent,” she said. “I worry that when I meet people they will have a great conversation with me face-to-face, and then they’ll walk away and they will go to their buddies and say, ‘Yeah, I talked to the killer Amanda Knox. And I got a secret selfie of us talking. I’m, I’m --'”
Holt cut in, “It’s hard to trust.”
Knox seemed to agree, repeating his words: “It’s hard to trust.”
In 2009, Knox pleaded not guilty to killing Kercher, whose body was found in a pool of blood, her throat slashed. She served four years in prison for the murder until she won an acquittal in 2011.
But her saga didn't end there. In 2014, Knox was retried and again found guilty. But the following year that verdict was overturned and she was acquitted by Italy’s highest appeals court.
Separately, an Ivory Coast-born man named Rudy Guede, who knew Kercher briefly, was tried and found guilty of Kercher's murder and sexual assault. He is currently serving a 16-year prison term.
Beyond her struggle to re-assimilate, Knox says she still receives death threats.
Back in June, Knox returned to Italy the first time since her acquittal. She was there to participate in the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena.
But it was during this trip that Knox admitted to Holt that she was “genuinely afraid.”
During her speech, Knox said the public "painted me as a psychopathic maneater. Guilty until proven otherwise.”
“The fact that I had been invited by the Italy Innocence Project and welcomed to take part in their event was tremendously important to me," she told Holt.
At the time, Knox may have put on a strong face, yet she admits that she was coping with various threats on her life.
Her positive veneer, Knox explained, "didn’t change the fact that I still have people who send me messages describing how they’re going to murder me."