'Overwhelmed' Amanda Knox thanks supporters
A tearful Amanda Knox thanked supporters for believing in her, saying she was "overwhelmed" as she arrived home Tuesday after a four-year ordeal behind bars in Italy.
Speaking for the first time since being released in Perugia on Monday after her acquittal on murder and sexual assault charges, she said her return home seemed unreal.
"I'm really overwhelmed right now," she said, fighting back tears as she made a brief statement to the media after landing with her family in her home town of Seattle on the US west coast.
"I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn't real," she added, shortly after her family's lawyer had described the past four years as a "nightmarish marathon."
"What's important for me to say is just thank you to everyone who's believed in me, who's defended me, who has supported my family," she said.
"My family's the most important thing to me right now. I just want to go be with them."
She preceded her remarks by saying: "They're reminding me to speak in English because I'm having problems with that" -- refering to the fluent Italian she has developed over her time fighting for freedom in Italy.
The family's lawyer Theodore Simon meanwhile told the brief press briefing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: "It has been a trying and grueling four-year nightmarish marathon that no child or parent should have to endure.
The family "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," he said.
"They have persevered with unusual grace and under extremely difficult circumstances," he added.
© 2011 AFP