Even after she was cleared of murder, even after returning home to a scenic haven in Seattle, Amanda Knox is crippled with fear.
The case that kept her behind bars for four years and hurled her into global notoriety isn't over. At any point, the United States could extradite her back to Italy to face a retrial since her acquittal was overturned in March.
During one of her very first interviews as a free woman, Knox tells CNN's Chris Cuomo that her attempt at resuming a normal life has been punctuated by debilitating panic attacks.
Admittedly nervous during the interview, she describes one such episode from the past weekend: "I sit in my hotel room and cry so loud until the security calls the room, because the person next door has heard me crying," Knox says, her voice cracking.
As she tries to articulate her next thought, Knox suppresses more tears.
"It's really hard for me to talk to people about it. It's like as soon as I allow myself to cry, I can't stop."
The sweeping interview reveals fascinating new details of a story that has been widely reported -- but not in her words. She slams accusations from authorities that she's an apathetic sexual deviant whose behavior led to her roommate's gruesome death.
Was she convicted on a story based partly on a gender stereotype? Or is that just an excuse? The subtleties in her interview may uncover some answers.
Going back to Italy
Knox says she's afraid to return to Italy to face a new trial almost six years after her roommate's death.
But she's considering it.
"I don't know yet. It's a really complicated question," she tells Cuomo. I mean, I'm afraid to go back there. I don't want to go back into prison."
"I've been told that in Italy, people think it's arrogant of me to sit here in the United States and have a book come out and defend myself," says Knox, who reportedly was paid a $3.8 million advance for her memoir, "Waiting to be Heard."
"First of all, I find that incredibly unfair, because I have the right to defend myself. And no one can ask me to just shut up because it's convenient. But at the same time, I want to prove to them that I care about what's going on."
Knox has been criticized for what some perceived as apathy over the death of her study-abroad roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007. Kercher, a 21-year-old British exchange student, was found dead, seminaked with her throat slashed, in the Perugia villa she rented with Knox.
But Knox says she's been unfairly characterized as cold and aloof after Kercher's death.
"I find it incredible that despite an absolute lack of evidence that connects me to this murder, I am still being judged based upon unrealistic and unreasonable expectations about how a young woman would react to a horrible situation. No one knows how they would react to a horrible situation until it happens to them," she says.
"I definitely reacted to what happened to her. And I react to this day. I'm emotional to this day about what happened. But I'm also the type of person who, when there is pressure on me and expectation on me to react, to feel in front of people, I freeze. I would much rather suppress my emotion than have it be determined as insincere and affected."
Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of killing Kercher. Both were acquitted in 2011, but their acquittals were overturned in March.
"As I was going through all of this, when I cried, it was bad. When I didn't cry, it was bad. When I smiled, it was bad. When I didn't smile, it was bad," Knox says. " ... I have been paralyzed by this kind of scrutiny. And I feel like it's unfair."
Claims of sexual deviancy
At times, the depictions of Knox in court were as scandalous as plot lines in a made-for-TV movie.
"They were calling me things like violent and whore and deviant. And it's all untrue," Knox tells Cuomo.
Prosecutors theorized she was involved in some sort of erotic game gone horribly wrong that resulted in the death of her roommate.
Knox says such claims were "a bombardment of falsehood and fantasy."