A New Side Revealed of American College Student Detained in Italy

Speaking out together for the first time, four of Amanda Knox's closest friends from the University of Washington spoke to ABC News to answer the question on the minds of many around the world: Who is Amanda Knox?

As Knox, the American college student jailed in connection with the murder of her British roommate, awaits her legal fate in Italy, her friends Madison, Alex, Ben and Andrew say that they don't believe she's guilty and that they are looking forward to a day when they'll be able to visit their friend in Italy.

'Loving and Compassionate'

ABC News correspondent David Muir asked Knox's friends how they would describe her.

"She is bouncy, energetic, funny, rock climber, yoga," said Madison. "Best hugger in the world. I think we can all agree on that."

"Her world revolves around making people feel good," Andrew said, "and making people feel happy."

"She does a really good job of it too," said Alex.

As a student at the University of Washington, Amanda is gifted in several languages. She's majoring in creative writing and she's on the dean's list. When her friends last saw her, she was looking forward to her year abroad in Perugia, Italy.

"It was this amazing opportunity for just an incredible experience. To go into a country you've never lived in and just find a place to live. You find new friends," said Andrew.

'Things Changed'

According to her friends, Knox was having the time of her life in Perugia. But five weeks ago, "things changed," as Ben explained.

Knox's British roommate, Meredith Kercher, 21, was found murdered in their apartment with her throat slit. Four days later, Knox was detained. Questioned by police, Knox reportedly changed her stories, first confusedly claiming she may have been home that night, but now adamantly saying she was not.

Knox and her parents have maintained her innocence. In the beginning days of what her friends call a nightmare, Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, told reporters in Perugia, "She is doing as well as can be expected. She is sure as the investigation comes out it will show. It's gone from one tragedy to the next."

Since then, Knox's family has been advised by her attorneys to not speak to the media. But her closest friends felt it was time to speak out.

Still in Jail

Now Know is spending her days in an Italian jail in Perugia. "She's alive. She is trying," said Alex. "She's Amanda," Madison said.

"She makes the best of every situation," said Ben.

Madison described how well Knox sings and explained that singing is helping her get through the ordeal.

"She has an amazing voice and she loves the Beatles," she said. "And we were told that when this first happened, and she was in jail, she would go outside and sing 'Let It Be' a lot."

This is her escape from the web of the Italian legal system, which can hold Knox up to a year without being charged. Also being held is her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, the son of a prominent Italian doctor.

The strongest evidence in the case so far involves 20-year-old Rudy Herman Guede, a reported drug dealer. His DNA and fingerprints reportedly place him in the British victim's bedroom the night of the murder.

While the case unfolds, Knox has been trapped in the middle of an international media frenzy. Her friends told ABC News that they are angry and frustrated by the picture painted of her in the media, which is completely opposite of the woman they know.

"They are trying to portray her as this, you know, crazy, psychotic, you know, sex maniac. And, you know, none of that's true. It couldn't be more 180 degrees away from what actually is the case," said Andrew.

'Foxy Knoxy' Unfair

Contributing to the characterizations are misconstrued ideas of Knox's social networking sites, and specifically the origin of Knox's nickname, "Foxy Knoxy."

"[Foxy Knoxy] came from when she played soccer, just the way she kind of crouched around the field. They said she looked like a fox, so it became Foxy Knoxy," said Andrew.

"When she was 12. She didn't make this up herself," Madison added.

Beyond the nickname, her friends say the attention paid to some of Knox's MySpace writing has been entirely unfair.

"The media took all these things off her MySpace, you know, very out of context, and applied them how they felt they could twist their story the way they wanted to," said Andrew. "You can do that with anyone's MySpace. You could take their pictures, their blogs and take different pieces here and there. And all of a sudden, you have this new person, that you've just created."

Madison, Alex, Ben and Andrew are waiting for the day they have permission to fly to Italy to visit Knox.

"We want her to know that we have not questioned her involvement in this once. We know that she's innocent. We have no doubt in this," said Madison. "And we are absolutely willing to stand up for her anytime we can. We want her back. We love her. We want her to know that we love her. And we know who she is. Everybody who knows Amanda has no doubt that she did not do this."