It was said many times that I'm a different person from the way I look. And that people cannot figure out who I am. I'm the same person I was four years ago. I've always been the same.
The only difference is what I suffered in four years. I lost a friend in the most brutal inexplicable way. My trust, my full trust in the police has been betrayed. I had to face absolutely unjust charges, accusations and I'm paying with my life for something that I did not commit.
Four years ago I was four years younger, but fundamentally I was younger because I had never suffered before four years ago. Because of four years ago, I didn't know what tragedy was. It was something I would watch on television. That didn't belong to me.
I had never faced so much fear and tragedy and suffering. I did not know how to face that. I didn't know how to live that, deeply. How I felt when we found out that Maddy had been killed, I couldn't believe it. How that was possible, first of all, then fear, because the person whom I shared my life with, who had the bed next to mine had been killed in our home. And if I would have been home that night, I'd be dead. I would have been killed just like her. The only difference is I was not there. I was with Raffaele, at Raffaele's place.
I had no one. He was everything to me at that moment. At that very moment at that moment in time I had him.
And another thing was my passion. I had a sense of duty before justice. I had a sense of duty before authorities which I trusted because they were there to find out who the culprit was, there to protect us. I blindly trusted them wholly, completely, absolutely. And when I made myself available up to the point of utter exhaustion those days, I was betrayed starting Nov. 5. I wasn't, I wasn't only stressed. I was manipulated.
I am not what they say I am,the violence, the spite of life, the life of someone that was not mine. And I didn't do what they say I did. I didn't kill. I didn't rape. I didn't steal. I was not there.
I remember the guy that we met in the apartment downstairs, but I didn't know him even by name. He was just someone around, a face. He was not a person that I had some contact with. So when they say, 'Oh, you knew him," I never did what they said that I did. They also say that that's what happened, but just like this. It's not like that.
I was untidy. We had a good relationship. We were all available to each other. I shared my life, especially with Meredith. We had a friendship. We were friends. She was concerned for me. She was always kind to me. She cared about me.
Maddy was killed, was murdered and I always wanted justice for her. I'm not escaping truth. I never escaped. I'm not fleeing from justice. I insist on the truth. I insist after four hopeless years. My innocence, our innocence is true. It deserves to be defended and acknowledged.
I want to go home. I want to go back to my life. I don't want to be punished. I don't want my future to be taken away from me for something I didn't do. Because I am innocent. Just like he is innocent. We deserve freedom. We didn't do anything not to deserve freedom.
I have all the respect for this court, for the care shown during our trial. Thank you.