Lesbian trysts and suicide, police corruption and murder – it’s easy to see why publishers HarperCollins paid $4 million for Amanda Knox’s memoir from the murder case of the century. "Waiting to be Heard" is released Tuesday, along with Knox’s first TV interview, five and a half years after the murder of British student Meredith Kercher for which she was convicted, and then acquitted.
But the plans have been rocked by a pending re-trial for her and alleged accomplice, ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, after the Italian Supreme Court overturned their acquittal. The memoir’s UK release has been delayed over fears that Knox could be sued for defaming police investigators.
“There are so many questions now and they don’t work in her favor,” crisis management PR specialist Glenn Selig told Metro. “The publishers thought they had a done deal, the case was over and she was wrongfully accused. Had they known it would shift I suspect they would not have made the deal.”
Although HarperCollins denies that there are “legal problems” for the book, it may provide ammunition for prosecutors. “Possibly we can find a new element for the trial from the book,” Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca told Metro, adding that he would read it in preparation for the case.
The victim’s family are also disgusted that Knox will become a millionaire from the story of Meredith’s death, having criticized her acquittal. “They believe it is injustice to make so much money from a murder,” Maresca said.
Advanced sales for the book have been slower than expected, but if Knox performs well on her TV interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer it could dramatically improve her prospects. “If the public believe her story there is huge potential as they will see her as a victim of injustice,” said Selig. “It could be the springboard for her to become a TV personality and people will forget why she became famous.”
Amanda Knox timeline
1 Nov 2007: Meredith Kercher stabbed to death in Perugia, Italy.
6 Nov 2007: Roommates Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito arrested and charged with murder, with Knox’s boss Diya Lumumba.
20 Nov 2007: Lumumba, held following Knox statements, released for lack of evidence.
6 Dec 2007: Ivory Coast ‘drifter’ Rudy Guede extradited from Germany and jailed on arrival in Italy.
28 Oct 2008: Judge indicts Knox and Sollecito on murder and sexual assault charges. Guede convicted of murder and sexual assault and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
4 Dec 2009: Court finds Knox guilty of murder and sexual assault; sentences her to 26 years in prison. Sollecito is convicted of same charges and sentenced to 25 years.
Oct 3, 2011: Knox and Sollecito cleared of murder, after DNA evidence shown to be unreliable. Knox pays 22,000 Euro compensation to Lumumba for false accusation of murder.
Mar 26, 2013: Italy's Supreme Court orders retrial for Knox and Sollecito.
2014: Case to be heard in Florence.