Amanda Knox is celebrating her hard-won freedom this week, but the 24-year old Foxy Knoxy may struggle to readjust after her overseas ordeal.
Knox and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were freed when the Italian appeals court overturned both of their guilty verdicts for murdering Knox's flatmate Kercher in 2007. Both were convicted in 2009 after a ten month long trial.
Knox was found guilty of defamation and was sentenced to a fine and time served.
Details are beginning to emerge about Knox's treatment in an Italian prison, where she was the object of prison guards' and fellow inmates' fascination -- in addition to holding a captive worldwide audience outside prison walls. While incarcerated, Knox reportedly received numerous letters from admirers enchanted by her beauty and uninhibited demeanor.
The focus on her sexuality suggests that civilization can easily tip backward to the primeval era when the feminine was classified, worshipped and feared in the form of powerful archetypes: Madonnas and Dianas, virgins and whores, Nina Burleigh (the author of The Fatal Gift of Beauty) wrote in the Los Angeles Times. Knox inadvertently fed these archetypes by the ways she behaved in public and advertised herself on the Web and, eventually, in her own compulsive writings.
Knox's trial and appeal costs are reportedly close to $1 million - her parents used all of their savings and took out a second mortgage to pay the legal fees, and her grandmother took out a $250,000 loan, according to a CBS News report.
But Knox stands to recoup those costs quickly if she agrees to share her story with any of the media outlets chomping at the bit. Though legitimate news media officially can't pay for interviews, there is still a price tag floating around -- of up to six figures -- attached to Knox's first exclusive. And the memoir she reportedly began in prison could be worth exponentially more -- especially if it details what is beginning to sound like unduly harsh treatment by prison officials.
While in prison, Knox was subjected to all manner of outlandish, misogynistic behavior, Burleigh, who interviewed Amanda while incarcerated, writes. In one instance, a prison doctor informed Knox that a blood sample had tested positive for HIV, and demanded that she list the names of her previous sexual partners. Two weeks later, after those names were published in a British tabloid, Knox was then informed she was not in fact HIV positive.
Knox testified to the AIDS scare in her 2009 trial. I was really worried. Mamma mia, I was crying, I thought I was going to die and not be able to have any children, the Daily Mail reports her saying.
They took the test three times over two weeks and I was under so much pressure because I thought I had AIDS.
Knox was reportedly in frequent contact with prison chief Raffaele Argiro, and many of their conversations are believed to have been of a sexual nature. Knox described some of their exchanges in her prison journal, according to the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail also reports that Argiro accompanied Knox to all of her medical consultations, and would quiz her on her sex life as a form of provocation to test her mental state.
He [Argiro] was fixed on the topic of sex - who I'd done it with and how I liked it, Knox reportedly wrote.
When I realised [sic] he wanted to talk to me about sex, I would try to change the subject.
If Knox was a little different before this ordeal, how might the trauma affect the young woman? Not only is she adjusting to freedom after being imprisoned for four years, she's grown accustomed to speaking Italian exclusively. In her press conference, she commented that her family had to remind her to speak in English, something she's been having trouble doing. She's also facing the prospect of re-enrolling as an undergraduate at age 24 - with the media spotlight undoubtedly following her every move for months to come.
Is a return to normalcy even a possibility for Knox?
As her mother said we won't know the extent to which Amanda has changed until she comes home.
What's the trauma ... and when will it show up, if it even shows up? Amanda's father Curt Knox told The Associated Press. She's a very strong girl, but it's been a tough time for her.
Amanda arrived back in Seattle on Tuesday, and had an emotional reunion with family, friends, and her many supporters.
But not everyone is convinced of her innocence. Nancy Grace, who enjoyed unprecedented visibility while covering the Casey Anthony trial, does not believe that Knox is completely innocent.
I was very disturbed, because I think it is a huge miscarriage of justice, Grace told Access Hollywood, adding, I don't wish her ill will.