"I hope that he gets a chance to talk with the parents of Stephany Flores, and that he can tell them what happened. And I apologize for them ... that he's my son. He's not a monster. He can be very gentle, but it could be that he has bipolar personality. I hope he gets the help," she said.
In a Dutch interview obtained exclusively by ABC News, Anita van der Sloot said her son was actually supposed to go for treatment at a mental institution in the Netherlands, but he instead went to Peru.
"He left me a note. Like, 'Mommy, I love you but I don't want to go to the Netherlands. I'm invited to gamble in Peru and I can make money there and I want to stay there. Just far away. Nobody knows me there. I want to think what I want to do with my life.' So ... I was very angry," she told a Dutch television crew.
See more of this interview on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. EST.
"I was ready for Joran to follow a path to the Netherlands where they could help him [deal] with his gambling, and if there was a personality disorder, which could be very possible, he could have developed that," she said.
She was shocked when she learned that, while on that trip, her son -- the Dutch playboy who was the prime suspect in the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway -- had been accused of killing a young woman.
"I believe in karma, I believe that very strongly. I believe that if you do things that you shouldn't do, that a lot of s**t happens to you," she said. "He didn't want to listen to his parents. He didn't listen to me, this last time. I tried to do my best. I don't think I could have done more. He's considered an adult right now. He has to do whatever he needs to do, and that is tell the truth (about) what happened."
Her son is accused of the May 30 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, whose battered body was found in a Peruvian hotel room. She was last seen entering that room with the 22-year-old van der Sloot. He initially confessed to the murder, but has since retracted his confession.
Van der Sloot has also suggested that the FBI lured him to Peru in a botched sting operation.
Joran van der Sloot Claims He was Framed
He made that allegation in an interview with the Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf. He told the newspaper he didn't realize he was signing a murder confession, which was written in Spanish, even though he speaks some Spanish.
"During the interrogations I was very frightened and confused, and I wanted to leave," van der Sloot said during the interview from the notorious Miguel Castro Castro jail in Lima.
"'If you sign these papers you will be extradited to the Netherlands,' they were telling me all the time. In my blind panic I then signed everything, but I did not even know what was written down," he told the newspaper.
When asked about the murder of Flores, van der Sloot replied, "I have been framed. What happened exactly, I will explain later."
On Monday, he refused to discuss the case with a Peruvian judge.
When Anita van der Sloot learned her son was possibly involved in Flores' brutal murder, she said she felt "numb."
"I thought, 'Ah, no. No, this cannot be. I mean, no way. No way,'" she said.
Even as police were searching for him, her son called her from a taxi en route to Chile.
She said she explained the seriousness of the situation to him, telling him he was wanted for murder.
"And then he became very emotional and said, 'No, Mom, that's impossible.' And then he started crying and he said, 'Oh, no, they didn't do anything to her, did they?' The only thing I said was, 'Go to the police now and turn yourself in,'" she said.
Joran van der Sloot is accused of murdering Flores exactly five years to the day that Holloway went missing in Aruba.
He is also charged with extorting $25,000 from Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, promising to show her where the teen's body was buried in exchange for the money.
Anita van der Sloot found the timing incredible.
"I thought, 'This is a set-up. This can't happen,'" she said.
In the alleged confession, van der Sloot is quoted as saying he met Flores at a Lima casino and they were playing poker in his room when an e-mail popped up on his computer linking him to the Holloway case.
Joran van der Sloot: 'If Only I Had Listened' to My Mother
He claims Flores became upset and struck him. Enraged, van der Sloot allegedly smashed her in the nose with his elbow. Blood gushed out and she nearly fainted from the blow, the confession states. He then grabbed her by the throat and banged her head against the wall, the confession says. He finally used his shirt to smother her, according to the alleged confession.
As ABC News reported at the time of his arrest, van der Sloot appeared confused before signing some police documents. He even asked his interrogators, "This only says I understand what my rights are, correct?"
As details emerged, Anita van der Sloot has found it hard to proclaim her son's innocence, as she has in the Holloway case.
"I think a part of me still wants to believe that it's all a very bad movie. But I thought immediately of the parents of the girl," she said, referring to Flores.
In a way, she, too has lost her child, she said.
She said she won't visit her son in prison.
Her son has acknowledged he was to blame for being in a Peruvian jail, telling De Telegraaf that he should have listened to his mother and that he understood why she won't visit him in prison.
"I have caused her and many other people too much pain. If only I had listened to her," van der Sloot said.