Amanda Knox’s Ex-Boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito Speaks Out After Acquittal: “Like Being Born Again”

Raffaele Sollecito speaks at a press conference on March 30, 2015
Amanda Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito spoke to NBC News and other reporters about the verdict to overturn the pair's murder convictions in Meredith Kercher's 2007 death  Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's nightmare appears to be finally over. After more than seven years of legal drama — four of which the former couple spent in an Italian prison — Italy's Supreme Court overturned the pair's previous murder convictions in connection with Meredith Kercher's 2007 death. Now, for the first time since the March 27 ruling, Sollecito is speaking out about the saga.

On Monday, March 30, shortly before a press conference in Rome, Knox's ex-boyfriend, 31, sat down with NBC News and expressed his joy over being acquitted of the charges.

"Everybody was pushing me…we were in kind of a frenzy…a chaos of happiness," he raved. "It was great, it was really great." He added: "It feels like the air is more fresh…the air of freedom feels very nice, it smells nice!"

Sollecito noted that he had not spoken to Knox since the verdict and in fact hoped to put their headline-making history to bed once and for all. "I'm so glad for her, but for me, psychologically having all these connections and grievances and all the people talking about my relationship with her really took me down," he explained to NBC. "I want to be detached from this bond…not that I have anything against her."

raffaele sollecito and amanda knox 2008
Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox at separate court hearings in Perugia, Italy in 2008 Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images; Federico Zirilli/AFP/Getty Images
Later, during his press conference with reporters, he mourned the loss of the last seven-plus years of his life. (After initially being convicted in 2009, he was released from prison in 2011 when the convictions were overturned on appeal. In early 2014, however, both he and Knox were convicted again by a different Italian appeals court.)

"It is time I will never be able to recoup," he told the press (via BBC News). "My mind and my soul will be marked for life, and the wound will never stop bleeding, it will never heal."

The acquittal is a good first step to getting his life back, though. "It was like being born again," he said of learning the verdict. "It was the beginning of a new life."

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!