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Tuesday 25 April 2017

Knox now in hiding after 'emotional' homecoming

Mark Hughes in Seattle and Gordon Rayner in London

Amanda Knox celebrated her freedom with pizza and wine as she held an "emotional" homecoming party with her family in Seattle yesterday.

Ms Knox, who said she was "overwhelmed" to be back in America after her four-year prison ordeal, was greeted by cousins, aunts and uncles who had hung out 'Welcome Home Amanda' banners.

The tone of her remarks was in sharp contrast to her notes written during the trial, published in Italy yesterday, which carried a sense of defiance in the face of despair.

"Violence, perversion, disrespect for life and person. These are what killed Mez and they are not a part of me," Ms Knox wrote. "I am not the Monster of Perugia."

The scene in Seattle yesterday was a world away from that low.

After her brief statement, Ms Knox was driven away to a secret location, rumoured to be the private residence of a wealthy benefactor outside the city, for a "welcome home" celebration.

Fame

After a chance to sleep off the jetlag, she and her family have some important decisions to make concerning how to leverage her fame.

She has now gone into hiding as her advisers handle multi-million dollar offers for interviews, and has told her family her immediate ambition is to finish the university course that was interrupted by her wrongful conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Ms Knox (24) was joined by a group of 12 friends and family for the party in Seattle.

Her grandmother, Elisabeth Huff, said: "We as a family got together for a couple of hours to have a chance to hug her and to make her feel comfortable. It was not a big occasion. Someone baked a cake and we had pizza and wine.

"It was very relaxed. The television was on and we saw the interview that Amanda had given at the airport. We all got emotional at that."

Mrs Huff (74) said Ms Knox had not yet discussed the multi-million dollar deals that were on the table. "She really has no idea how big this story has become," she added.

She confirmed that Ms Knox's "long-term plan" was to complete her languages degree at the University of Washington but added: "Her first plan is to have a sleep-in this morning."

Ms Knox's father, Curt, speaking at his home, said he was looking forward to taking his daughter for a drink now that she was past the Washington state drinking age of 21.

He said: "I'm looking forward to sitting down and her buying me a drink. She never had this wild life that people said."

Asked about his daughter's whereabouts, Mr Knox said she was "in the United States".

Ms Knox made no mention of Ms Kercher when she addressed the media after getting off her flight in Seattle yesterday morning, instead thanking her supporters "for being there for me". (©Daily Telegraph London)

Irish Independent

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