For Amanda Knox, freedom comes at hefty cost

Amanda Knox left Seattle as an anonymous junior attending Washington's flagship public university, and on Tuesday she returned as someone whose release from an Italian jail made her internationally recognizable.

But her freedom came with a price, CBS News correspondent Hattie Kauffman reports.

The 24-year-old's life turned around dramatically Monday when an Italian appeals court threw out her conviction in the sexual assault and fatal stabbing of her British roommate. On Tuesday, photos of Amanda Knox crying in the courtroom after the verdict was read appeared on the front pages of newspapers in Italy, the U.S., Britain and around the world.

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Knox's first challenge will be repaying the more than $1 million in legal debts her family piled up in the past two years.

Her parents each took out second mortgages and drained retirement accounts to pay for her lawyers. Elizabeth Huff, Knox's grandmother, took out a $250,000 loan to help pay bills, a burden she welcomed.

"We are happy; we are elated," Huff said. "I can't tell you how happy we are."

With the international media frenzy that surrounded Knox's trial continuing on the journey home -- from her flight out of Rome to her landing in Seattle -- there's no sign the interest in Knox or her story will let up soon. That could open up an avenue for the family to pay off those debts.

Sources close to Knox tell CBS News that she began to write a memoir while in prison. That could be worth millions to publishers eager to profit on one of the most sensational international legal cases in memory.

On CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday, Knox's U.S. attorney, Theodore Simon, said her writings weren't discussed during her reunion with family and friends Tuesday night.

(Watch at left)

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot more to come, but I can tell you very candidly none of those things were discussed last night in any way," Simon told "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill. "In fact, Amanda is much more about asking people how they are as opposed to explaining herself, and it was only after much time and some curiosity where others started asking some questions about her prison experience, and when everyone hears about all of those I think they are really going to be really amazed."

As for Knox's future, her father, Curt Knox, said she would like to return to the University of Washington at some point to finish her degree.

For now, he's apprehensive about what four years in prison may have done to his daughter, though there are no immediate plans for her to get counseling. "What's the trauma ... and when will it show up, if it even shows up?" he told The Associated Press. "She's a very strong girl, but it's been a tough time for her."

For now, Knox has just one priority.

"My family's the most important thing to me right now, and I just want to go be with them," Knox told reporters Tuesday night. "Thank you for being there for me."

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