Amanda Knox returned to Italy for the first since she was acquitted of murder there four years ago and revealed she had considered suicide in jail, Reuters reports.
Knox, 31, reportedly spoke Saturday at a criminal justice conference in the city of Modena.
In her remarks, she blasted authorities for how she was treated and the media for its coverage of the case, which was intensely followed worldwide.
“To the world, I wasn’t a suspect innocent until proven guilty,” Knox said, according to the Reuters report. “I was a cunning, psychopathic, dirty, drugged-up whore who was guilty until proven otherwise.”
Knox reportedly added: “The prosecutors and the media created a story and a version of me that suited that story, on which people could attach all their fantasies, fears and moral judgments . . . the dirty, psychopathic man-eater Foxy Knoxy.”
In 2007, Knox, then 22 and a foreign exchange student, was charged with murdering 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher in a home the pair shared in the Italian town of Perugia.
Knox was found guilty twice, but Italy’s top court invalidated the conviction in 2015, allowing her to return to the United States.
Prosecutors also charged another man, Rudy Guede, in connection with Kercher’s fatal stabbing; he is serving a 16-year prison sentence. His DNA was found at the scene, including bloodied fingerprints on Kercher’s bed, according to the New York Post.
Knox on Saturday told the audience she was afraid of being in Italy, in part out of concern that new allegations were surface.
“Lots of people think I am crazy to come here,” she reportedly said.
In a statement obtained by Reuters, Kercher’s family attorney said Knox’s visit to Italy was “inappropriate” and merely for self-promotion.
Knox maintains that Kercher was her friend and her only purpose for making the speech was to highlight what she argues is a miscarriage of justice.
While Knox was acquitted of murder in 2015, the Italian high court affirmed a sentence against her for making false accusations about a bar tender, Patrick Lumumba. Knox said she made the false statement after a long and stressful interrogation by police.
The European Court of Human Rights in January held that Knox didn’t receive a fair trial on the false accusation charge and ordered the Italian government to pay her $21,000.
According to the report, Knox spoke for about 40 minutes and she frequently sipped from a glass of water. She broke into tears when she remembered a visit from her father in jail, in which he told her she likely would not be released soon at the time.
It was not immediately clear whether Knox was paid for her speech in Italy. In January, CrimeOnline reported that Knox was being represented by an agency that charges up to $10,000 for its clients’ speaking engagements.
[Feature image: AP Photo/Antonio Calanni]