Amanda Knox has told of her fear and suffering after being convicted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
"I have never faced so much fear, so much tragedy, so much suffering." Describing the night Meredith was murdered she says "I could not believe it. How was it possible?
"She was killed in her own house. If I had been there that night I would have died. Just like her. The only difference was I was not there," she said.
"I am the same person as I was four years ago, the only thing that is different is what I have suffered. Over the last four years I lost a friend, a girlfriend, the most brutal way in an unexplained manner. My trust in police authorities has been betrayed.
"I've had to deal with unfair charges and unfounded charges. I am paying with my life for things I did not commit."
She added: "I was manipulated, I am not what they say. I am not a promiscuous vamp, I am not violent.
"I have never done what they say I did. They said this how things go, this is not so. I had good relationships with everybody who was living in my flat. I was untidy, careless, but we did have good relationships.
"We were all willing to help each other. I shared my life particularly with Meredith. We were friends."
Earlier, amid a media storm Amanda Knox arrived in court on Monday to make a final plea against her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
Crowds spilled into the street as the packed court room awaited her personal statement to the jury.
Anxious and tired looking Knox was flanked by her legal team who continued to closely advise her ahead of the biggest day of her life.
She was dressed in a black hooded top and green blouse, and her every move was followed by television cameras and photographers who crammed into the court.
Also in court are the parents of victim Meredith and other key players in the case.
Knox could walk free from prison today if an Italian court overturns her conviction. Friends say she has been struggling to sleep and her eating habits have suffered as stress builds ahead of today's verdict.
Perugia is in virtual lockdown as hundreds of reporters lay siege to report the story. Every major network from the US has journalists covering the case.
According to reports local bookmakers are so unsure of the verdict that all bets are off.
The young American is serving a 26-year jail term for killing the British student in what prosecutors said was a sex game taken to the extreme.
She has changed dramatically since her initial conviction, But she maintains she played no part in Miss Kercher's violent death and has been appealing against her trial verdict for the past 11 months.
The process will reach its climax with the judges and jury due to retire to consider whether to acquit her, uphold her conviction or - as prosecutors have requested - even increase her sentence.
Knox, 24, was found guilty after a year-long trial in 2009, along with her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 27, who denies any wrongdoing and has also appealed.
A third person, small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede, was convicted in separate proceedings and defence lawyers for Knox and Sollecito insist he acted alone. Prosecutors say all three acted together.
Before jury deliberations begin, the former lovers will address the court in Perugia, where the murder took place.
The statements they will give represent their final chance to persuade jurors of their innocence, and Knox is said to have been working on hers for three months.
Leeds University student Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon in Surrey, was 21 when she suffered her brutal death. Her body was found on November 2, 2007 in her bedroom at the Perugia cottage she was living in.
Her throat had been slit and her semi-naked corpse was partially covered by a duvet.
Amanda Knox went to Mass on Saturday afternoon as she remained hopeful of being freed from Capanne jail near Perugia in Italy.