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Amanda Knox is already the subject of a Lifetime original movie, starring Hayden Panettiere, but now she’s ready to tell the story on her terms.
As The Hollywood Reporter previously reported, Knox recently inked a deal with Washington power agent Robert Barnett to represent her in a future book deal. As the New York Times reports, Knox has already met with several publishers who are currently weighing the pros and cons of adding her controversial memoir to their roster.
“Everybody fell in love with her,” said one publishing exec, who — along with many others — described the 24-year-old as smart, soft-spoken and well read. Though beyond the charm lies a chilling and complex tale of murder abroad.
Knox was tried and found guilty of killing her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007. By her side was ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who has since signed with Seattle literary agent Sharlene Martin and ghostwriter Andrew Gumbel, and reportedly plans to shop a book of his own in the near future. The duo was initially sentenced to 26 (Knox) and 25 (Sollecito) years in prison, but had their conviction overturned after nearly four years behind bars.
Knox returned to the United States in late 2011, but has yet to sit down for a televised interview. 60 Minutes is said to be hotly pursuing the exclusive.
While publishers are certainly interested in an Amanda Knox memoir, with powerhouses Simon & Schuster, Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins among them, publishing her story would also carry significant risks. The hotly contested case finds many Americans taking sides. For some, she is considered an innocent girl thrown in prison for a crime she did not commit. For others, she’s a femme fatale who got away with murder.
“I think it’s a huge gamble for somebody,” said one publisher, who has decided not to bid on her book. “It’s not like she has been exonerated in a clear and definitive way.”
Still, the memoir is being considered along the same vein as Jaycee Dugard’s A Stolen Life, which documented her kidnapping and the 18 years of captivity that followed.
“The book will have very broad resonance,” said another executive who does intend to enter the Knox bidding war. “The world has heard from everybody else, but the world has not actually heard from Amanda Knox.”
For his part, Barnett has previously handled the book deals of President Barack Obama, former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as music superstar Elton John. He has declined to comment on Knox’s book.
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Melvin Van Peebles