AMANDA Knox today broke down in tears as she revealed she still fears fresh charges over the death of Brit student Meredith Kercher.
The 31-year-old American revealed she had even contemplated suicide after being accused of murder as she returned to Italy for the first time since she was cleared.
And she revealed people had thought she was "crazy" to attend the panel discussing wrongful convictions in the country's northern city of Modena.
Speaking to the crowd, she said: "I'm afraid today, now, I'm afraid of being harassed, mocked, stuck and I'm afraid that new accusations will be addressed to me just because I come here to say my version of the facts.
"But above all, I fear I will lack the courage."
She added: "I know that despite my acquittal issued by the Court of Cassation, I remain a controversial figure in the presence of public opinion, above all and especially here in Italy.
"A lot of people think I'm crazy to come here. I was told that I was not safe, that I will be attacked in the streets, that I will be falsely accused and sent back to prison and that even if I return to Seattle, it will have been all in vain, it will not have been useful to anything."
I'm afraid that new accusations will be addressed to me just because I come here to say my version of the facts
And she opened up about the intense scrutiny she had been under during the case, saying: "On the world stage I wasn't a defendant innocent until proved guilty, the verdict fell upon me like a crushing weight."
She said she understood how Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini wanted to find justice for Kercher, but added: "One day I'd like to meet the real Dr. Mignini, and I hope that when he comes, he will also see that I am not a monster, I simply am Amanda."
Knox spent four years in jail after being convicted with her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of knifing 21-year-old Brit student Meredith to death in the house they shared in Perugia.
THE CASE THAT CAPTURED THE WORLD
Addressing the Trial by Media panel, she said her family had only been allowed to visit her in custody for only six one-hour sessions a month.
She said: "At 20-years-old I was a happy and a lively girl and I was forced to spend my 20th year imprisoned in an inhumane, unhealthy and unpredictable environment.
"Instead of dreaming about a career or a family, I contemplated suicide."
She was acquitted in 2011 – just one step in a long judicial process of flip-flop decisions before she was definitively acquitted in 2015 by Italy's highest court.
It comes as the lawyer for Meredith Kercher's family blasted Knox's return to Italy as "inappropriate".
Kercher family attorney, Francesco Maresca, blasted the decision, saying that "inviting her to a technical panel on justice was a mistake."
He added "lawyers for both parts should have been involved."
Who killed Meredith Kercher?
Meredith Kercher was born in London in 1985, with the young woman moving to Italy to study the University of Perugia in 2007.
The 21-year-old was last seen on November 1 of that year, with her body found in a pool of blood in her bedroom the next day.
An autopsy conducted on her body found that her throat had been cut and she had been stabbed almost 50 times. It also found that she had 16 bruises, including on her nose and mouth, as well as suffering injuries related to sexual assault.
Fingerprints were identified at the scene as belonging to Rudy Guede, who was ultimately jailed for the brutal murder.
Guede had a history of break ins and burglaries.
He was found guilty of the murder in 2008, sentenced to 30 years behind bars.
His sentence was later cut to 24 years, with it again cut to 16 years.
Seattle-born Knox had moved to Perugia in Italy, with several other students including Meredith in September in 2007 but just a few weeks later her life changed forever.
When Knox arrived home on November 2, she noticed that the front door was open and there was dried blood in the bathroom.
After calling police, the body of her roommate Meredith was found inside her locked bedroom.
An autopsy conducted on her body found that her throat had been slashed and she had been stabbed almost 50 times.
It also found that she had 16 bruises, including on her nose and mouth, as well as suffering injuries related to sexual assault.
Italian cops believed Meredith’s death came as a result of a sex game that had gone horrifically wrong and quickly charged Knox and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito with the murder.
They were convicted of stabbing the British student to death in 2009, but freed on appeal two years later.
Their guilty verdict was reinstated in 2014 but quashed by Italy’s top court in March 2015.
A drifter called Rudy Guede was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of Meredith.
Days before her arrival in Italy, Knox made a bizarre on joke social media – posting a picture on Instagram showing her clinging onto a mountainside with just her face visible.
She wrote: “3 Days till I return to Italy for the first time since leaving prison. Feeling frayed, so I made my own inspirational workplace poster. "Hang in there!" Just imagine I'm a kitten.”
Knox also posted a picture of herself smiling in the arms of her fiancé Christopher Robinson with the words: “Here we go… Wish us, "Buon viaggio!”.
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