Skip to main content

Amanda Knox: 'Thank you for being there for me'

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:49 AM EDT, Wed October 5, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: An emotional Knox says she is "overwhelmed"
  • NEW: She says being with her family is "the most important thing"
  • NEW: Her family thanks her supporters
  • NEW: "Meredith was Amanda's friend," one attorney says

Check out CNN affiliates KOMO-TV and KIRO-TV in Seattle for the latest on Amanda Knox's expected arrival home.

(CNN) -- In brief remarks to the media just after returning to her hometown of Seattle, an emotional Amanda Knox thanked those who believed in her and supported her fight to overturn her murder conviction in Italy.

"I'm really overwhelmed right now," said a tearful Knox, who arrived to cheering supporters at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. "I was looking down from the airplane, and it seemed like everything wasn't real."

"What's important for me to say is just thank you, to everyone who has believed in me, who has defended me, who has supported my family," she said, her voice shaking. Being with her family, she said, is "the most important thing to me right now."

"Thank you for being there for me," she said.

Friends rejoice for Knox's return
Friends rejoice for Knox's return
Amanda Knox, family begin trek home

Knox and her family were on a British Airways flight that landed in Seattle about 8:12 p.m. ET.

Before beginning her remarks, Knox smiled and said, "They're reminding me to speak in English, because I'm having problems with that."

An Italian appeals court on Monday overturned Knox's murder conviction in the 2007 death of her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher. Knox initially was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Knox's mother and stepfather, Edda and Curt Mellas, also thanked those who have supported their family, as well as the Italian attorneys who fought on her behalf.

"Meredith was Amanda's friend," said Philadelphia attorney Theodore Simon, who spoke at the news conference. Knox wants the Kercher family to be remembered, Simon said as Knox nodded and appeared to fight tears.

Knox supporters in Seattle said they planned a rousing welcome.

"To Amanda herself, we say, 'Way to go, kid,' " Tom Wright, founder of the group Friends of Amanda Knox, said Monday night.

"We look forward to welcoming you home with open arms and open hearts," Wright said, reading a statement. "You have well deserved, and will well deserve, all the joy and warmth and fun of your normal life returned to you."

The statement also said that it was "primarily a sad occasion," and that the group's "deepest sympathies" were with Kercher's family.

CNN affiliate KOMO-TV reported that Wright was among a group of more than a dozen supporters who gathered at a hotel suite to watch the jury return its decision about Knox more than 5,000 miles away.

Amanda Knox heading home
Prosecutor to challenge Knox ruling

Afterward, Margaret Ralph was among those crying tears of joy. Asked what she'll say when she sees Knox, Ralph told KOMO, "I won't say anything. I'll just give her a big hug and kiss."

"It was incredible," fellow supporter Kellanne Henry told KOMO, adding that it took a minute to absorb the news. "They finally got it right," she said.

Many Seattle residents took to social media to post messages.

"I am so happy this nightmare is over for you," Seattle resident Jenn Whitney wrote in a posting on one of several Facebook pages devoted to Knox. Whitney said she "cried with joy" when Knox's conviction was overturned. "I pray that God brings you home safely," she added.

"If I had the chance to greet her when she lands back here in Seattle, the only thing I would do is hand her a rose, give her a hug and say 'welcome home!' " Jeff Bamby posted.

On another Facebook page, Tamara Slater wrote, "Amanda you have been in the prayers of so many people, it must be heart warming to know you were never forgotten. Welcome home!"

CNN affiliate KIRO-TV reported that when staff went out to gauge reactions to the news out of Italy on Monday, "We met just a few people in West Seattle who disagreed with Monday's ruling and thought that Knox was guilty."

Jordan Adams said he thought Knox was guilty, but he was willing to accept the decision to overturn the conviction. "I did think she was guilty, but I guess, good luck to her since she's been freed and cleared," he told KIRO.

Early Tuesday morning, a jogger who spotted a CNN crew in Seattle's Queen Anne Hill neighborhood stopped and yelled, "Yay Amanda! Welcome home!"

But later, another resident walked up to a CNN crew to say that she could not "care less about Knox returning home" and that she believed Knox committed the crime.

CNN's Josh Levs and Sandra Endo contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The Knox/Sollecito retrial
updated 6:52 AM EST, Fri January 31, 2014
Student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are waiting -- once again -- for a verdict from an Italian court.
updated 8:34 AM EST, Wed November 6, 2013
Amanda Knox's former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito took the stand in an Italian court, defending himself.
updated 5:58 PM EDT, Sat November 2, 2013
CNN's Fredricka Whitfield talks with Steve Moore about discrepancies he found in the Amanda Knox case.
updated 12:09 PM EDT, Wed October 2, 2013
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were not in the Florentine appellate court Monday for the opening day of their appeal.
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Wed October 2, 2013
Amanda Knox's former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito talks about his life now and the new Meredith Kercher murder trial.
updated 10:36 AM EDT, Thu March 28, 2013
How come Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are back to square one in the Meredith Kercher murder trial?
updated 11:47 AM EDT, Tue March 26, 2013
amanda knox file
CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin weighs in on an Italian court's decision to retry Amanda Knox for murder.
updated 8:43 AM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
Since her release from an Italian prison, Amanda Knox has been trying to stay out of the public eye back in her hometown, Seattle.
updated 12:56 PM EST, Wed January 29, 2014
British student Meredith Kercher was found dead in November 2007. Six years on, two defendants are told they face a retrial.
updated 12:56 AM EST, Fri January 31, 2014
A look back at the key players in the trial of Amanda Knox.
updated 8:42 AM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
Raffaele Sollecito, right, attends his appeal hearing
Raffaele Sollecito says the discovery of Meredith Kercher's body was the start of a nightmare. Now he wants a normal life back, he says.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT