April 30, 2013— -- intro: For the first time, Amanda Knox tells her story in her own words.
The 25-year-old American student spent four years in prison before an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction in 2011, but her case is not closed. The Supreme Court of Italy annulled her acquittal last month, and she is currently awaiting a new trial.
In her memoir, "Waiting to Be Heard," which was released today, Knox reveals details about her ordeal, including the days leading up to her arrest in Perugia, and opens an intimate window into her life in prison.
Over the course of the trial, several details came out that raised questions about Knox, her seemingly strange behavior after her roommate Meredith Kercher was found dead in the cottage they shared and her potential involvement in Kercher's murder.
As she gears up to continue her lengthy legal fight to clear her name, Knox answered some of those questions in an exclusive interview with ABC News.
quicklist: 1category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Her 'She Got Her F**king Throat Slit' Quoteurl: media: 19076490text: During her murder trial, Italian prosecutors pointed to what they said was Amanda Knox's strange behavior at the Perugia police station after her roommate Meredith Kercher was found dead.
One of Kercher's friends told investigators that when she said, "I hope she didn't suffer," Knox was quoted as saying, "How could she not? She got her f**king throat slit."
Knox told ABC News that she reacted to the news of her roommate's death in "a number of ways."
"I was angry, was pacing, thinking about what Meredith was -- must have been through," she said. "I had already been through hours of questioning, and her friends came much later. And they were much more vulnerable, and in that moment I wasn't sensitive enough to their feelings. But what I was hearing was that somebody did something horrible to my friend, and I could not conceive how it could be anything but how horrible it was. And that's what my exclamation was all about.
"I think everyone's reaction to something horrible is different," Knox continued. "I went through multiple emotions in the reaction to what I found out, and I discovered about what happened to Meredith. Part of it was shock and disbelief. Part of it was sadness. Part it was anger. Part of it was this stubborn drive to do what I thought an adult would do, which was help."
quicklist: 2category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Reports of Her Doing Cartwheels at Police Stationurl: media: 19076881text: Italian police said Knox showed other instances of bizarre behavior at the police station in the aftermath of her roommate's death. Reports that Knox was seen making faces at her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and that she was doing cartwheels were rampant in the press.
In her memoir, Knox wrote about how she didn't understand how everyone around her at the station, including Meredith Kercher's friends, were being so calm after learning she was dead. Knox wrote that Sollecito was trying to comfort her.
"I suspect that Raffaele thought I was having a breakdown," Knox wrote. "He sat me in his lap and bounced me gently. He kissed me, made faces at me, and told me jokes, all in an effort to soothe my agitation, babying me so I would stop storming around. I cringe to say that treating me like an infant helped. Normally, it would have repelled me. But at the time it worked."
In her interview with ABC News, Knox again defended her actions.
"I was reacting to a very confusing and terrifying situation," she said. "And I had a number of reactions. I didn't have a consistent reaction over the entire time. And sometimes I was very angry, and sometimes I was very sad, and sometimes I paced. And I didn't hide my reaction.
"I wasn't doing cartwheels, despite what they said," Knox continued. "I was reacting in an upset manner. And I was upset. And I could've been more sensitive to the people around me. That's what I think was the major issue -- was I could've been more sensitive to the people around me."
quicklist: 3category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Embracing Meredith's Friend Sophieurl: media: 19076611text: Italian prosecutors spent much of Amanda Knox's trial scrutinizing her actions after the murder and debating whether or not she showed emotion or grief when she found out Meredith Kercher was dead.
One of the things they pointed to was when Knox saw Kercher's friends at the police station after they'd learned of her death, one them, Sophie Putnam, went to hug Knox, but police said Knox seemed cold toward her.
"I think, again, that goes back to their reinterpretation of what I did or didn't do," Knox told ABC News. "When Sophie embraced me the first time, I was not ready. I went back to her and embraced her again, when she was crying in a chair, on her own, in the hallway.
"I was struggling with the idea that I could've died that night. I could've been killed," she continued. "And that brought up intense feelings that I had never felt before, and that I didn't know how to deal with."
quicklist: 4category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Supposed Roommate Disagreements Over Condoms, Vibratorurl: media: 19076522text: Italian prosecutors introduced the idea during Amanda Knox's murder trial that Meredith Kercher and Knox did not get along. One of the things they cited was that Kercher objected to Knox keeping condoms and a vibrator in their shared bathroom at the cottage in Perugia.
"This is one of the more strange things that happened was that no one ever confronted me -- no one -- about the things that I kept in the bathroom, or what, like what friends I had," Knox told ABC News. "That was never discussed while we were living together.
"The one time that she ever confronted me about something was she was very embarrassed and nice about it," she continued. "And I was very embarrassed and, like, awkwardly laughing about it afterwards, and that was when, like, discussing that after you flush the toilet, you have to use the brush, which is not something that I was used to, and that was fairly early on. This was not something that happened afterwards, and it was fine.
"We didn't have an estrangement and we didn't argue about anything."
quicklist: 5category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Supposed 'Traffic of Guys' in the Houseurl: media: 19076745text: Throughout her trial, Amanda Knox was accused of being boy crazy and a "concertante of sex." Italian prosecutors claimed that Meredith Kercher's friends said Kercher was uncomfortable with the number of male friends Knox brought over to the house they shared.
But Knox told ABC News that was not the case.
"There wasn't a lot of traffic of guys in the house, so there wasn't ever really a discussion about traffic of guys in the house," Knox said. "She was dating one of the guys who lived downstairs, and they came up to visit all the time, because we were all friends."
quicklist: 6category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Her Drifting Apart From Meredithurl: media: 19076705text: Several of the prosecutor's witnesses during the trial claimed that Meredith Kercher's friends thought Amanda Knox was weird and they would avoid her. But Knox told ABC News that's not the way she remembered it.
"I didn't get that impression when I was with them because there were various times that Meredith invited me to hang out with her friends," Knox said. "And the fact that later on we didn't hang out as much was more because I was at the pub working."
Another allegation was that Kercher confronted Knox about her strange behavior, told her she and her British friends did not want to hang out with her. But again, Knox denied that was the case.
"We went out to pubs together and I think that the environment in Perugia was also very open," Knox said. "I think what happened, and what led to later discussions about how uncomfortable Meredith and her friends were or were not around me, was because of my arrest and because of the incredible tragedy that was her murder that had just happened so incredibly and incomprehensibly.
"I think that after my arrest and after all of the sudden I was identified as in some way involved, everything that we had experienced before in their minds took on a sinister tone.That's what I think happened."
quicklist: 7category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Mixed DNA in the Sinkurl: media: 17832883text: About a week after Meredith Kercher was found murdered in the cottage she shared with Amanda Knox and two other roommates, Italian investigators claimed they found Knox's DNA mixed with traces of Kercher's blood in the drain of the sink of their shared bathroom.
"The implication was that I'd rinsed my hands and feet in the bidet after slashing her throat," Knox wrote in her memoir. "They said my skin cells had shown up -- not Raffaele's or Rudy Guede's -- because I was the last person to wash up in the bathroom."
According to Knox's testimony, she was staying at her boyfriend's house the night that Kercher was murdered.
quicklist: 8category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Witnesses Claiming to See Knox and Her Boyfriend in Several Placesurl: media: 19076656text: In trying to paint Amanda Knox as a cold-hearted killer, Italian prosecutors alleged that several eyewitnesses claimed to have seen her and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito going out all over town in the days after the murder.
Knox told ABC News that several of those witnesses were found to be "unreliable," and that their stories came out almost a year after she was arrested.
"There was a homeless man who could not conclude precisely whether or not it was Halloween that he claimed to have seen us or Nov. 1," Knox said. "There was a shopkeeper who said that he could recognize me from my eyes and that I was at his shop in the morning, but that I was wearing a hat and a scarf around my face and that I went into his shop but didn't buy anything. They are all stories that came up later, after I was arrested."
quicklist: 9category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Buying 'Lingerie' After the Murderurl: media: 19076568text: A security camera at Bubble, a lingerie store in Perugia, captured Amanda Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito buying lingerie days after her roommate's murder.
Italian prosecutors, who tried to paint Knox as "a temptress," claimed that the store owner said Sollecito told Knox they were going to have "hot sex."
"I went to Bubble because it was a cheap place for me to get a pair of underwear and some clothing, because I had none," Knox told ABC News. "I only had what was on my back. And in the meantime, while I was waiting for some understanding of what was going to happen, and whether or not I would even have access to my own things.
"I needed a pair of underwear and I went to that store," she continued. "I took one off of the shelf near the cash register. I bought it, and Raffaele kissed me. Now, I don't know what the store owner thinks he heard or did not hear, but we in no way said, he or I, that we were off to go have 'hot sex.'"
quicklist: 10category: Amanda Knox Speakstitle: On Her 'All You Need Is Love" T-Shirturl: media: 19076823text: Media around the world went into a frenzy when Amanda Knox appeared at her murder trial on Valentine's Day 2009 wearing a T-shirt with the words "All You Need Is Love," a nod to the Beatles classic hit.
But Knox, who had been stamped with the nickname "Foxy Knoxy," told ABC News she was surprised by all the negative attention she received over the shirt.
"It was another one to my naive immaturity, things coming through and making my life unexpectedly more difficult," Knox said. "Because I did not go to court that day hoping to distract the world with a T-shirt. I went to court that day wearing a T-shirt with words that meant something to me on Valentine's Day. I wore it for me. I didn't realize in the beginning how much attention was being put on me, and how very intensely I was being scrutinized. I thought that being myself was enough."