Video: Amanda Knox signs reported $4 million book deal for 'full and unflinching' memoirs
Published 17/02/2012 | 07:06
AMANDA Knox, the American student convicted then cleared of murdering her British room-mate, has signed a reported $4 million (€3m) book deal for a "full and unflinching" account of the events surrounding her arrest and trial.
Following what was described as a "heated" bidding war, publishing giant HarperCollins announced that the as-yet untitled memoir would go on sale in the United States early next year.
Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in the Italian city of Perugia, serving four before being freed in October.
Prosecutors this week launched a high court appeal against their release – they maintain that the couple murdered Miss Kercher, 21, slitting her throat and stabbing her multiple times when she refused to take part in a sex orgy. A third defendant, Rudy Guede, remains in prison.
In a statement, Harper Collins said: "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.
"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."
HarperCollins refused to confirm how much 24-year-old Knox will be paid for the book, but insiders suggested it was at least seven figures, and probably close to $4 million (€3m).
Twenty publishers had expressed an interested in the memoir before her representatives held an auction this week. Knox met with seven executives – all of whom bid for the book.
Jonathan Burnham of HarperCollins said that Knox had studied creative writing in college, and would be writing the book herself with the help of an unnamed collaborator. Her editor is Claire Wachtel, who has worked with the crime novelist Dennis Lehane.
Since her return from Perugia, Knox has kept a low profile, spending much of her time working on the memoirs in her home town of Seattle.
She retained the services of Robert B. Barnett, a Washington lawyer who has brokered book deal for a number of big names, including President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Several publishers invited to meet Knox told the New York Times earlier this week that she had cut an impressive figure, appearing relaxed and speaking knowledgably about literature and her desire to become a writer.
A number of booksellers expressed reservations, however, about how well the memoirs would sell, given Knox's notoriety.
During her captivity, she was largely viewed in her own country an innocent victim of the chaotic Italian judicial system.
In both Britain and Italy, however, Knox is seen rather differently, with some suggesting that she got away with murder.
She became notorious during the early investigation into Miss Kercher's death after it emerged that she had turned a cartwheel in the police station soon after the murder, and was captured on television kissing Sollecito passionately. He is also said to be preparing to sell a book about the crime in Italy.
Miss Kercher's family had called on Knox not to publish her story – her father called the American's release from jail "ludicrous".