Sunday 26 March 2017

Race on to secure freed Knox's $10m story as she goes home

Gordon Rayner, Nick Allen and Jon Swaine in New York

AMANDA KNOX arrives home this morning to contemplate TV and film offers that could net her tens of millions of dollars, but will not be rushed into making a snap decision about her future, friends said.

The 24-year-old has not yet been signed up by any of the US networks clamouring for the first interview since her release, though veteran broadcasters Diane Sawyer and Elizabeth Vargas, who work for ABC, are thought to be the front-runners.

The Knox family has hired a leading Seattle PR firm, Gogerty Marriott, to handle bids which are expected to reach up to $10m (€7.5m) for her first TV interview since she was cleared of murdering Meredith Kercher.

In pictures: Amanda Knox returns home to Seattle

But before she makes up her mind, Ms Knox wants to spend time at home with her family.

A friend said: "She has not signed up to anyone. Offers have come in but the family has been concentrating on the appeal.

"She wants to return home and the family has asked for time to readjust. In time Amanda will consider interviews."

Ms Knox, who was due to land in Seattle in the early hours of this morning, was given a taste of the millionaire lifestyle that could await her when she passed through Heathrow yesterday on route to the US.

After getting off a flight from Italy, Ms Knox and her family were ushered into a waiting BMW and taken to the airport's Windsor Suite, which is normally reserved for members of the royal family, to wait for her onward flight to Seattle.

Airport owner BAA said it had given the family the use of the suite, which is sometimes hired by celebrities including Cheryl Cole for £1,800 (€1,358), to avoid "disruption" to other passengers that would have resulted from any media scrum.

Ms Knox, together with her parents, her sister Deanna and best friend Madison Paxton, flew business class on the British Airways flight, in seats costing £5,000 (€3,770) each.

Insiders in the US said ABC and NBC were the front-runners for the first interview with Ms Knox, with CNN, Fox and CBS unlikely to land the deal.

Professor Paul Levinson, a media expert at Fordham University, said: "We're talking about a fee of up to $10m. This is up there with OJ Simpson and Monica Lewinsky.

"It's a story made in heaven for anyone to retail. She was innocent and she is beautiful -- you couldn't ask for a better confluence of ingredients."

Ms Knox is also expected to sell the rights to her memoirs, which she is reported to have been writing in prison.

Jonathan Kirsch, a leading publishing attorney, predicted that she could receive an advance of "$10m".

Despite expectations that Ms Knox would be taken to a secret location to keep her away from the glare of the media, friends said she would return to the modest home she shares with her mother, sister and stepfather.

Meanwhile Ms Knox's former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito (27), who was also cleared of murdering Ms Kercher, was back home in Giovinazzo, Italy, where his father Francesco said he was "trying to recover" from his four years in prison. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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