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Wednesday 18 January 2017

Seven-figure bidding war breaks out for Knox's prison tale

Guy Adams in Los Angeles

Published 14/02/2012 | 05:00

Since her release from an Italian prison, the only words that Amanda Knox (pictured) has uttered in public were brief, tearful comments directed to the scrum of reporters who had gathered outside Seattle's Tacoma airport to witness her homecoming.

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In a short press conference, she thanked supporters, wondered out loud if her acquittal was all a dream, and offered no fresh disclosures about the events which had just seen her incarcerated for over 1,500 days.

Today, that discretion looks like a canny piece of news management. Four months after Ms Knox returned to the US, the story of the former exchange student's arrest, conviction, imprisonment and release is reported to have attracted a seven-figure price tag.

A proposed memoir, based on a diary she kept before, during and after the death of her flatmate, Meredith Kercher, is said to have sparked a bidding war between America's wealthiest publishers: Simon & Schuster, Random House, Penguin and Harper Collins.

'The New York Times' reported yesterday that Ms Knox and her agent, Robert Barnett -- who has previously negotiated literary deals for Barack Obama and Bill Clinton -- have been holding meetings with senior executives from interested firms.

A guest at one of the discussions said: "Everyone fell in love with her." An employee of a publishing house bidding for the memoir commented: "The world has heard from everybody else, but the world has not actually heard from Amanda Knox."

The million-dollar value attached to Ms Knox's story is an understandable by-product of the enduring fascination she sparks on both sides of the Atlantic.

Supporters peg her as the innocent victim of a conspiracy fuelled by a hungry media, Italian police and a chaotic justice system. Opponents believe that she's a femme fatale who got away with murder.

Ms Knox, now 24, and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were acquitted after serving more than four years, due to concerns about the handling of DNA samples used to secure their conviction. Neither has yet answered wider questions about the case. Ms Knox's book will allow her to do that, and also help to pay off her family's legal bills. (© Independent News Service)

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