Amanda Knox has said that she will not return to Italy because she is scared of prison and doesn't have enough money. The comments, which were made to a British newspaper on Sunday, come as the court date for her retrial looms.
In an interview with Britain's The Sun newspaper on Sunday, Amanda Knox explained why she did not want to return to Italy to face retrial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, which is scheduled for September 30th.
"If it were possible to go to the court and not have to deal with the issues of being afraid of being thrown back in prison again for an arbitrary reason, or for being able to financially afford it, absolutely I would want to be there," the 26-year-old told the tabloid newspaper.
In the interview she also complained about her misrepresentation in the media as “the dark lady who decided Meredith had to die”. "The fact is that my presence has always been a distraction in the courtroom. Every single movement I made, every gesture, every facial expression, was the focus of scrutiny and distracted from the evidence in the case,” she said.
The 26-year-old who spent more than three and a half years behind bars before acquitted by an Italian appeals court of murder says she continues to suffer panic attacks and nightmares in the days after. "I was continuing to have panic attacks and nightmares, and I was continuing to think that strangers on the street were prisoners that I had known," she recently told ABC News. "I had panic attacks and just broke down. And I couldn't breathe," she described of her first episodes while jailed for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.
Amanda Knox’s former boyfriend has sensationally claimed Italian cops waged a six-month campaign to make him change his evidence and frame her over Meredith Kercher’s murder.
Raffaele Sollecito accused “sneaky” officers of instigating a string of approaches from a prison guard, other inmates and even his family as he and his American lover were awaiting trial for the 21-year-old British student’s murder in Perugia. But Sollecito, 29, said he refused to point the finger of blame at Knox to save his own skin because he was “really fond of her”.
She said: 'Contact the Kerchers? I haven't yet tried. There is this abyss of pain that separates us, that has grown during the trial, I haven't had the courage to cross it. Millions of times I've thought about it and millions of times in my own way I haven't done it because I am scared that they will think it a legal strategy or a media one.
'I don't want them to think of me like that. I read what they said about the trial, about Meredith. I've read John Kercher's (Meredith's father) book. I was absorbed and annihilated by the trial, by prison. I still don't have the strength to cry, to digest the loss of Meredith. I would like to meet them, one day I would like to go with them to the grave of my friend.
Knox insisted: 'I did not kill Meredith. I did not kill my friend and I even thought about going to Florence because it drives me mad to think that someone can puff out their chest and point their finger at my empty chair and stain me with a crime that I didn't commit. 'I can understand that you can try and build up an allegation, a conviction, even if there is no damning proof and no motive but they have really exaggerated against me.'
"I was already imprisoned as an innocent person in Italy, and I can't reconcile the choice to go back with that experience," she told Matt Lauer in her first TV interview about the upcoming retrial in Florence on Sept. 30. "It's not a possibility, as I was imprisoned as an innocent person and I just can't relive that. I don't think I'm going to be put back in prison. I think that we're going to win. That's why I'm fighting this fight, that's why I continue to put forth the defensive argument in court."
Not going back, she said, isn't an admission of guilt. "I look at it as an admission of innocence, to be quite honest. Besides the fact that there are so many factors that are not allowing me to go back — financial ones, ones where I'm going to school, ones where I want the court to proceed without distraction. I was imprisoned as an innocent person. It's common sense not to go back."
"I imagine it all the time because I have to think the worst-case scenario,'' she told Lauer. "I have to prepare in my mind what that would be like. I thought about what it would be like to live my entire life in prison and to lose everything, to lose what I've been able to come back to and rebuild. I think about it all the time. It's so scary. Everything's at stake."
In this original essay for TODAY.com, Amanda Knox, 26, envisions spending her entire life behind bars and mulls the possibility that she will never have a child.
Letter to My Unborn Child, by Amanda Knox
My dearest Natasha, or Lotte, or Astrid,
Today is always a new day. For a change I had tea this morning, with honey, instead of the coffee mix and watery milk. The usual fette biscottate. I work in the prison nursery, or nido, as often as I can, and today I cleaned the cribs and cabinets there from 8:30 to 11:30. The little Nigerian boy, Joseph, is learning to speak with his hands—a wave for “Hello,” a thumbs-up or down for “Yes” and “No,” a twist of the wrist to say, “Please open the door.” You would say, “Agente, aprimi il cancello?”
At the call for aria – the prison yard - I went on my walk to stretch these dumpy limbs. The summer has passed again. A new crop of convicts have arrived, the short-timers in their faux-designer jeans and hoodless jackets. Time to write out the request form to get my sweats, sweaters and fingerless gloves out of magazzino – storage – again.
The autumn of my life. I wish you could have seen me. Not with the scars and hives, this thinning hair and rotting tooth. After the hunger strikes of the early years and the occasional assaults suffered since then, I’ve done my best.
I’m sorry — better not to be bitter.
My dearest Serge, or Ira, or Abe,
I’m moved by the ability of a human being to survive. I am one of so many organisms which, when sustained by bread and water and shelter, can’t but live. But then, to truly survive inside, that is what I would have wanted most of all to teach you.
There is an idea that if you put in 10,000 hours, you will have mastered your art. I’ve surpassed 10,000 hours, 10,000 days. By now, most everyone who had a part in it has moved on or is gone. The judges and juries, the prosecutors and investigators, the lawyers and journalists. The generations that have taken their place have their own atrocities and injustices. Time can’t heal when the wound is neglected, then forgotten.
There is no healing, but I like to think that I have mastered this art of survival. Survival by denying the temptation to die, by not letting myself die inside before my physical body gives out and the sentence is complete.
So when I grieve for everything that is lost — the letters I will never again receive from my mother and father, friendships and family inevitably disintegrated over distance and time, the partnership and parenthood I always wanted — I assure you, life lived somehow for love is life never wasted.
It’s a constant choice, second by second. It’s a reaching — maybe I can’t explain it, but if it can’t heal the wound, it can at least cover it. Reaching towards love can keep the wound from forever wounding deeper.
With no one else to reach to, I reach to you.
Now I have only to burn this letter and hope the words make it to the other place, the other time, the what-if-there-was-justice, when you would have existed. You survive inside of me.