Amanda Knox Memoir's Publication Delayed in U.K.
11:42 AM PDT 4/16/2013 by Andy Lewis
Amid fears of a libel suit, HarperCollins is postponing the May 9 British debut of "Waiting to Be Heard."
Publication of Amanda Knox's memoir Waiting to Be Heard is being delayed in the United Kingdom by HarperCollins because of fears of libel suits.
British tabloids speculate that Knox will claim she was sexually harassed by Italian guards during her imprisonment.
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The claims of sexual harassment were hinted at by Bob Barnett, the American lawyer who negotiated Knox's $4 million book deal, in an interview with THR.
Barnett claimed the the full story of Knox's imprisonment would "shock [readers] to the core."
Knox is the Seattle college student who was convicted and then exonerated of the murder her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, while studying in Perugia, Italy, in 2009.
A recent ruling by Italy's highest court vacated the exoneration, opening the door to Knox being retried for the murder.
A hearing on a retrial will be held in Florence later this year.
Publication was scheduled for May 9 in the U.K., a little more than one week after the April 30 U.S. debut of Waiting to Be Heard.
The decision to delay -- or even cancel publication -- of a book in the United Kingdom is not unusual because of how British libel laws differ from those in the U.S.
In the U.K., the burden of proof is on newspapers to prove a statement is true. In the U.S., defendants have to prove that a newspaper knowingly published a false statement.
The Knox case has generated particularly intense media interest in Britain because of Kercher.
Using letters it obtained from Knox to friends back in the United States, The Daily Mail speculates Knox will claim she was sexually harassed by Italian guards in her soon-to-be released memoir.
Waiting to Be Heard is under heavy embargo until its April 30 publication.
That same night, Knox will be featured in her first televised interview conducted by Diane Sawyer for an ABC primetime special.
The Mail quotes Knox writing to a friend that one guard, "was fixed on the topic of sex -- who I’d done it with, how I liked it ... if I would like to do it with him. I was so surprised and scandalized by his provocations that sometimes I thought I hadn’t understood the things he said to me. When I realized he wanted to talk about sex, I would try to change the subject."
The guard had denied accusations but the allegations are under investigation by Italian authorities.
Knox will reportedly also claim that prison officials falsely told her when she first arrived that she was HIV positive and that a female inmate tried to strike up a sexual relationship with her.
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