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Amanda Knox spoke exclusively to Daybreak this morning in her first British television interview. Speaking to Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones live from Seattle, Amanda explained her reasons for not returning to Italy for the retrial, how she feels she is being hunted and how she hopes to one day be able to visit Meredith’s grave.
Explaining why she won’t be returning to Italy for the retrial, Amanda said: “There are many reasons why I’ve made the decision. One of the major reasons is because I’ve done this, I’ve given testimony, I can’t financially afford to be going back and forth to Italy I’m in school I’m trying to rebuild my life and then there’s the very real fact that I was imprisoned wrongfully and I can’t reconcile that experience with the choice of going back. It doesn’t make sense… I have plenty to fear because I was already imprisoned wrongfully, I was already convicted wrongfully and this is everything to fear. This, as an innocent person, is the ultimate nightmare. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Later on in the interview, she reiterated her reasons for not going: “I’ve already been there for the trial, I’ve already given my testimony so what I could give to the trial has already been done. I can’t afford to go back there, I’m in school and the major thing is that I was already wrongfully imprisoned in that country and so the risk of that happening again is enough to dissuade me from being present and knowing that there’s a risk of my not being in the courtroom affecting the outcome. It’s a terrifying decision that I have to make but it’s the only one that makes sense.”
On her continued fight to profess her innocence, Amanda told Daybreak that the case wasn’t complicated and had already been resolved so there should be no need for a retrial: “I continue to have to fight to this day when I feel like it should be clear what happened, it should be clear what this case is all about. This case isn’t complicated. There’s evidence of someone who shouldn’t have been in the house, having been there having laid hands on Meredith, his hand prints are in her blood. He has a history of breaking and entering and no relationship with me or Raffaele and so why is this case complicated? Why are we still discussing unreliable circumstantial evidence, why are we still discussing character assassinations? Why? This isn’t a complicated case, it has been resolved and for people to hold on to circumstantial things that have been proven wrong. At the very beginning, I never had a chance to defend myself, over the course of the trial it was shown that I wasn’t the monster that was being made of me and with all of that gone, what’s left? I mean people say that I lied and that’s not true, I told the police from the very beginning that I had been with Raffaele and the one time I broke down and said something else was because the police who picked me apart and for them to say that I waltzed in and started claiming things and pointing fingers arbitrarily because I’m just that kind of person is wrong and it’s a lie itself. The Supreme Court has said that this new court needs to look at the circumstantial evidence that the previous court that acquitted me didn’t take into proper consideration. But what the Supreme Court didn’t take into proper consideration is that there’s proof of my innocence in there being no trace of me in the room where my friend was murdered. There was no reason for me to have done this, there is nothing that is a part of me that would ever do something like this and it’s so scary to have to go through this again, I did not expect this to happen and now I’m not sure what to expect because I have two different experiences. I was wrongfully convicted and rightfully acquitted for being innocent and now I have to hope that the next court is able to look at this without prejudice and realise that there is proof of my innocence here. This isn’t a case about a character, this isn’t a case about a femme fatale, this is a case about my friend who was brutally murdered because she just happened to be home that night and that’s it and finding fault in me not going back is not finding truth in what happened. It’s that simple.”
Amanda acknowledged that there is continued doubt in people’s minds as to her innocence but called on people to understand what she had been through: “I can understand but I also would ask that other people would understand what happened to me. That is what I’ve been trying to do this entire time and I’ve slowly been finding opportunities to put myself out there to explain where I was at the time that all of this happened. I was a young kid who didn’t understand what was happening to me and I’ve tried to explain how I was completely demolished in my interrogation there was no room in that interrogation for me to walk away with the testimony that I continued to hold onto and tell them and to speak again and again and say ‘no this is true’. I kept telling them my same testimony and they couldn’t accept it and at a certain point, I just could not understand anything anymore and so I would ask people who are so ready to judge me for my mistakes to understand that it is much more complicated than that and that I was a kid when this all happened.”
When asked if she would be prepared to do a lie detector test to prove her innocence, Amanda said she wouldn’t rule it out: “I’d do anything to prove my innocence. I don’t think that’s necessary but like I said I’m doing everything I can to prove my innocence. I just think that it’s very sad that that is what it has come to… The justice is about the prosecution proving the guilt of someone and it shouldn’t be up to me whether or not I get to live my life free. But like I said my innocence is everything to me, my entire adult life has been defending that and I would do anything… I’m not afraid of anything, I have been put through a tremendous gauntlet as far as being interrogated as far as testifying, as far as having to think of how I can express to someone what I went through when what I have gone through is extraordinary. It’s hard for me to explain even to my loved ones exactly what it feels like to have your every confidence in yourself completely broken down, every confidence in your own memories even broken down by people who are trying to get the answers that they want out of you. A lie detector test would be, I would be fine with that.”
Disputing claims that she has ‘cashed in’ on Meredith’s death by releasing a book, Amanda said that she has used all of the money to pay for her defence: “Cashing in on Meredith’s death? That’s what I’ve heard the accusation as being, and what I have been doing is telling my own story, my own experience of what I have gone through and that is completely different. And then as far as what my financial situation is right now, the $3.8million book deal that I was able to obtain, I paid back my parents, I paid back my lawyers, I paid for my agent and my collaborator all of these elements that lead to me defending myself and then of course to taxes and at this point I have relieved myself of the burden of knowing that my family has suffered and mortgaged their houses and dug deep into their retirements to be able to defend me so I’ve been able to pay them back and now I have to think about how to take these next steps. I am not sitting on a yacht somewhere, that’s not the case.”
Admitting how she has keeps going, Amanda said: “I had a conversation with my boyfriend about this today because I’m not a religious person but I did make a very good friend in prison in the chaplain and he told me that God never forces something upon you that you cannot deal with and that is not a part of a greater plan and what I take from that is that what I have gone through has forced me to find the strength that must necessarily exist inside myself and that’s what I’m constantly trying to find day after day. It’s not easy, it’s a constant struggle and this whole process has mutated over time there have been different struggles that I have had to deal with, I’ve been hunted I’m being hunted down and I am trying to fight back now that I have the opportunity and that’s doing a lot to help me psychologically deal with this.”
Speaking about the Kercher family, Amanda said she understands why they have kept a distance from her but believes that the ultimate closure for both of parties would be to allow Amanda to visit Meredith’s grave: “I can understand where they’re coming from and this has been the major obstacle for me reaching out to them because I know that they think that I had some sort of involvement with Meredith’s death and I would hope that they would eventually take into consideration even the possibility of my innocence they need to understand that the prosecution is simply wrong and the lawyers are wrong and that is so hard that you want to trust the system you want to trust that the answers that were given to you are the answers that are true. And I understand that it is very difficult, I understand that it’s hard to be logical about this but I also want them to understand that Meredith really was my friend, she was very kind to me and I had nothing to do with her murder and I am truly innocent and I truly believe that the only way that any of us are going to be able to heal from all of this is if we all come together and acknowledge the pain that we have all gone through. I’ve read John Kercher’s book, I’ve done everything that I could to hear what they had to say in the few times that they have opened themselves up to the outside world about their grief, I have not been able to have the kind of contact with them and be able to confront closure as far as grieving for Meredith’s death and that’s what I have envisioned would be the greatest closure is for them to be willing to take me to her grave and because, I mean, I never had a chance to see when, I never had a chance to see them before I was already called the murderer before the ‘case was closed’ they never had a chance to even think that I was innocent.”