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Amanda Knox enjoys the 'simple pleasures' on return to US soil

By Guy Adams

Home at last, Amanda Knox spent an emotional first day back on US soil enjoying what her father described as the “simple pleasures” of freedom — including pizza and wine — after almost 1,500 days inside an Italian prison.

After a tearful return to Seattle, the home city she last saw more than four years ago, the 24-year-old former exchange student was adjusting to a new life among the friends and family members who had campaigned for her release.

The scene in Seattle yesterday was a world away from the low of an Italian prison cell.

After a brief statement, Knox was driven away to a secret location for a “welcome home” celebration.

After a chance to sleep off the jetlag, she and her family have important decisions to make concerning how to leverage her fame.

Theodore Simon, the family's US lawyer, said she “has a great appreciation” of the global interest in her story.

A Seattle PR company, Gogerty Marriott, has been hired to handle potential film and book deals, along with bids for her first television and magazine interviews.

Mr Simon said: “I can tell you — and I've been a criminal defence lawyer for more than 37 years — I am amazed by how strong she is.”

Meanwhile, the appeals court judge who was part of the jury which acquitted Ms Knox said in a TV interview that she and her ex-boyfriend might know the “real truth” about who killed her British roommate Meredith Kercher, and could even be responsible.

Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann stressed on state TV that the acquittals “resulted from the truth that was created in the trial”.

He added: “But the real truth could be different. They could also be responsible, but the proof isn't there.”

In her only public statement yesterday, Ms Knox told well-wishers that she was “really overwhelmed” to be back so soon after being freed by an appeals court.

“I was looking down from the aeroplane and it seemed like everything wasn't real,” she told a Press conference outside Seattle's Tacoma airport. It was, she said, tough to speak English after so long in Italy: “I'm having trouble with that.”

The comments came minutes after she emerged from a BA flight from London on Tuesday night.

Knox kept a diary of her time in prison, which is likely to attract lucrative bids from publishers.

US TV networks are likely to bid fiercely for a first interview.

Knox's parents, who are separated, have both remortgaged their homes to pay her legal bills, put at more than $1m (£648,000). She must repay that money before seeing any profit.

Her father Curt said she would eventually like to return to the University of Washington to finish her degree.

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