"No one has ever claimed that I was ever taking part in deviant sexual activity. None of my roommates, none of my friends, none of the people who knew me there. This is simply coming out of the prosecution," she says. "I was not strapping on leather and bearing a whip. I have never done that. I have never taken part in an orgy. Ever."
She says there has been recent discussion "about how our society latches onto the idea of a violent, sexual woman, how sexuality becomes deviancy, becomes violent" and how "the connection between those things is so easily made in comparison to men."
"I was completely recharacterized as a human being based upon the fact that I was sexually active. And that turned into sexual deviancy. And it was unfair," Knox says. "And I was having to go into the courtroom when the jury and judge were already convinced of a certain idea of what kind of person I was. And there was nothing I could do to respond to it."
Implicating an innocent man
Even though she was acquitted of the murder charge, Knox doesn't have a spotless record.
After she and Sollecito were detained for questioning in the killing, she allegedly confessed to being at her home when Kercher was killed and implicated Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a bar where she worked.
Lumumba was detained but was released after two weeks when his alibi was corroborated: He had spent the night of the murder talking to a customer in his pub in Perugia, police said. Lumumba later sued Knox for libel, winning 40,000 euros ($54,000) in damages.
Knox says her book gives readers insight into what she was thinking in the days and months after Kercher's death.
"I'm aware of the fact that people don't seem to get where I'm coming from when I named Patrick Lumumba, for instance. And I can't excuse it. But I can try to explain it. And that's the only -- the only thing I can do," Knox says.
Her life today
Despite the panic attacks, Knox is trying to get her life back to normal. She's back with a boyfriend whom she knew before she was in Italy. She's going to school and is making up lost time with her family.
But she still hasn't reached out to Meredith Kercher's family.
"I know that they think that I'm guilty," Knox tells Cuomo. "... I wish that I had gotten ahold of them much earlier, at the very beginning."
During the interview, Knox's hands appeared to show signs of injuries. She says she was taking self-defense training.
"I've received death threats since I've been home. And I don't ever want to be caught in a situation that Meredith was caught in where someone is able to overpower me because I just don't know what to do," Knox says.
"There are not normal people who are fixated on me. And I don't know what they're capable of. I don't."
Her desire, Knox says, is that within five years she will finally feel at ease.
"I hope that I will be definitively found innocent," she says. "I hope that I can reconcile myself with Patrick and Meredith's family."
She worries about a lifetime of answering questions from doubters.
"I really want this to be behind me. I need this. I don't know how long I can hold it together. I don't know how long I can defend myself."