Amanda Knox ‘Paralyzed’ With Anxiety Since Trial, Contemplated Suicide In Prison

Amanda Knox is sometimes “paralyzed” with anxiety over the death of her roommate in Italy in 2007. Knox, who was convicted and then acquitted over the slaying of British student Meredith Kercher, has also revealed she contemplated suicide while imprisoned.

Amanda Knox’s “paralyzed” comment comes in a new interview with People magazine, which made extracts from the interview available to The Associated Press. Knox’s face-to-face with People was conducted at her mother’s home in Seattle. Knox returned to the Pacific Northwest city in 2011, having spent four years in Italy’s Capanne Prison in Perugia.

Speaking to People, Knox reveals:

“When Meredith was murdered and I was arrested, it was so shocking. It was paralyzing. Everything toppled.”

She also talks about the emotional toll her trial, conviction, and eventual acquittal had on her mental health:

“Things creep up on me and all of a sudden I’m overwhelmed by the feeling of helplessness and that desperation and fear to even hope. Just that can make my heart race and makes me paralyzed until I can breathe it away.”

Since her return to Seattle, her hometown, Knox has successfully steered clear of public attention. Her eagerly awaited memoir, Waiting to be Heard, is scheduled to release on April 30. The book, published through HarperCollins, is the result of a $4 million book deal.

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The People piece comes just weeks after Italy’s Supreme Court reversed Knox’s acquittal in the Kercher case and ordered a new trial. However, Knox is not compelled by law to attend the retrial, and family spokesman David Marriott says the 25-year-old is unlikely to return to Italian soil.

Italian prosecutors insist Knox, formerly an exchange student in Perugia, killed Kercher in a drug-fueled sex assault. Knox’s then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also implicated, and has also been asked to attend a retrial. A third man, Ivorian Rudy Guede, is serving a 16-year sentence for the murder.

Prosecutors insist the murder weapon was a large knife taken from Sollecito’s house. They argue Kercher’s wounds prove the knife was used in the killing, and point out that Knox’s DNA has been identified on the handle.

A US Supreme Court judge has told Knox to stay away from the retrial.

Knox continues to attract support. Her defenders say she was forced into admissions during a lengthy police interrogation, and that DNA evidence in the case is flawed, due to the bumbling actions of Italian police who contaminated the crime scene.

Back home in Seattle, Knox is studying at the University of Washington, and reportedly enjoys rock climbing, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Local media tend to leave her be, even when she is seen around town. With the impending release of her memoir, that could be about to change again.

As well as Amanda Knox’s “paralyzed with anxiety” remark to People, Knox writes about her suicidal thoughts in the book. She says she considered swallowing shards of glass or suffocating herself with a garbage bag.

According to ABC News, she also writes that she spent most of her time in prison in her cell, and was only allowed outside one hour a day. She adds that the temperature in her cell veered wildly, from being extremely cold at night to especially hot during daytime hours.

Earlier this week, it was revealed Knox claims in her memoir that she was sexually harrassed while imprisoned in Italy.

According to The Daily Mail, the book makes sexual harassment allegations against senior prison guard Raffaele Argiro. Knox claims the guard began propositioning her for sex shortly after her incarceration, and would constantly bring up the topic of sex while engaging in conversation.

Extracts from letters written by Knox to her friends are reproduced in Waiting to be Heard, with one allegedly reading:

“He was fixed on the topic of sex – who I’d done it with, how I liked it … if I would like to do it with him. I was so surprised and scandalized by his provocations that sometimes I thought I hadn’t understood the things he said to me. When I realized he wanted to talk about sex, I would try to change the subject.”

Knox’s full interview will be published in the April 26 edition of People. What do you make of Amanda Knox’s “paralyzed” remarks?