05.01.13 8:45 AM ET
Amanda Knox Finally Speaks in Interview With Diane Sawyer (VIDEO)
‘It’s Not True’
Diane Sawyer didn’t start the interview gently—she launched into a list of unflattering names Knox has been called: “concertante of sex,” “sphinx of Perugia,” “she-devil with an angel face.” Knox looked pained, but she said being slandered by the media was nothing new. “It’s another thing to be sitting in a courtroom, fighting for your life, while people are calling you a devil,” she said.
‘I Could’ve Been More Sensitive’
Much of Knox’s trial, both in the Italian legal system and in the court of public opinion, centered on her strange, seemingly unaffected behavior after her roommate Meredith Kercher’s murder and Knox’s subsequent arrest. Those “cartwheels” in the police station, she said, never happened. But in retrospect, she calls her unusual actions her own method of coping with the situation, saying, “I think everyone’s reaction to something horrible is different.”
‘I Didn’t Do It’
Knox has maintained her innocence since giving what she says was a false confession during her police interrogation. But here, for the first time in public, she was asked definitively whether she killed Kercher. “No,” answered Knox.
A Brutal Interrogation
The most incriminating evidence against Knox was a signed confession by the young student during her interrogation after Kercher’s murder. But questions linger about the tactics used by police: why Knox was advised against having a lawyer and whether the investigators bullied her. “They knew what they were doing and that is something that is inforgivable [sic] to me,” she said.
“I couldn’t breathe,” Knox remembers of the moment she was pronounced guilty by the court and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Unable to reach her crying family, “I lost it,” she recalls, struggling to maintain her composure in front of Sawyer. “Everything that I thought I knew about the way that justice and life worked was gone.
A Family’s Sacrifice
Knox says she felt guilty, but not because she had committed a crime. In moving to Italy and covering her legal fees, her family mortgaged their home and reportedly accrued seven figures of debt trying to secure their daughter’s freedom. At times in prison, Knox thought about how she could let them off the hook. “I was trying to figure out how to ask them to move on in their life without me,” she said, tearing up, “because I was tired of them having to sacrifice everything in their life for me.”
The Kerchers’ Pain
The interview ended with Sawyer asking about Meredith Kercher and her family—victims who seemed to fade into the background in the sensational media coverage of the trial. “I can only imagine having lost my daughter, and the pain that they’re going through is unimaginable,” said Amanda’s mother. Knox expressed similar grief and sympathy, wishing that “eventually, I can have [Kercher’s parents’] permission to pay my respects at her grave.”