Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Amanda Knox signs US book deal

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox, whose conviction and eventual acquittal over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher made headlines worldwide, has signed an agreement with HarperCollins to tell her story.

The 24-year-old Seattle resident, imprisoned for four years in Perugia, Italy, has not publicly discussed her ordeal beyond a brief expression of gratitude upon her release last October.

"Knox will give a full and unflinching account of the events that led to her arrest in Perugia and her struggles with the complexities of the Italian judicial system," HarperCollins said in a statement.

"Aided by journals she kept during her imprisonment, Knox will talk about her harrowing experience at the hands of the Italian police and later prison guards and inmates. She will reveal never before told details surrounding her case, and describe how she used her inner strength and strong family ties to cope with the most challenging time of her young life."

The book, currently untitled, is tentatively scheduled for early 2013. Financial terms were not disclosed for what is likely to be a seven-figure deal, negotiated on Knox's behalf by Washington lawyer Robert Barnett, whose other clients include US President Barack Obama and former president George W Bush.

Some 20 publishers were interested in the book and Knox met with seven, all of whom submitted bids during a recent auction.

HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said that Knox, who studied creative writing, would work with a collaborator. Her editor will be Claire Wachtel, whose other authors have included crime novelist Dennis Lehane, journalist Cokie Roberts and US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.

Publishers in recent years have shied away from controversial defendants, especially since the fiasco of OJ Simpson's If I Did It, the fictionalised account of Nicole Brown Simpson's murder that was cancelled in 2006 by HarperCollins in response to public outrage. After Casey Anthony was found not guilty last year over the death of her two-year-old daughter Caylee, several publishers said they would not even consider a book by her.

Knox's legal issues are not over. Earlier this week, Italian prosecutors asked the country's highest criminal court to reinstate the murder convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.

Prosecutor Giovanni Galati said he is "very convinced" that Sollecito and exchange student Knox were responsible for the November 1, 2007, stabbing death of Miss Kercher, 21, who shared an apartment with Knox in Perugia.

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