Amanda Knox, who was cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, today paid tribute to the people who supported and believed in her during her four-year ordeal.
Speaking at a press conference shortly after touching down in her home city of Seattle, the tearful 24-year-old said: “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.
“I just want.. My family is the most important thing to me right now and I just want to go and be with them. So thank you for being there for me.”
Knox, who spoke publicly for the first time since her release, added that she felt ``overwhelmed'' by the situation and that she had to be reminded to speak in English rather than Italian.
“I am really overwhelmed right now, I was looking down from the aeroplane and it seemed like everything wasn’t real,” she said.
Journalists were also addressed by Knox’s defence attorney Theodore Simon and her parents.
Mr Simon, who was interrupted by cheers from the audience, said: “It has been a trying and gruelling four-year nightmarish marathon that no child or parent should have to endure.
“But Amanda and her parents and family have demonstrated unquestioned and unparalleled patience, steadfast courage, dignity, resilience and fortitude, but most of all they have relied upon their faith that this unjust conviction would not stand.”
Before Knox spoke her father Curt Knox said his daughter's time in jail had been a ``very long four years, but we could not have made it through without all you people out here who have supported us, and especially Amanda''.
Her mother, Edda Mellas, said: “All I can say again is thank you. It is because of the letters and calls and just amazing support we have received from people all over the world, and especially here in Seattle that we have been able to endure and that we have been able to make sure Amanda had the support she needed.”
The family were then driven from the airport.