ROME - Amanda Knox has accused the media of having built a false narrative around her, depicting her as guilty despite her proven innocence.

The American former exchange student who became the focus of a sensational murder case returned to Italy for the first time since an appeals court acquitted her in 2011 in the slaying of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

Speaking in Italian at a panel discussion Saturday titled "Trial by media," Knox said she was depicted "on the global scene as cunning, psychopath, drugged, whore. Guilty."

Speaking through tears, she said the media invented a "false and baseless story, which fueled people's fantasies."

Knox's 2011 acquittal was part of a long legal process that saw multiple flip-flop rulings before she was definitively acquitted in 2015 by Italy's highest court.