Monday, October 10, 2011

Amanda Knox: the wealth that awaits her

Amanda Knox will be rich when her story is finally told, but her troubles may be far from over.

What a difference a week makes. Seven days ago, Amanda Knox was languishing in an Italian jail cell, imprisoned for the savage murder of her flatmate, Meredith Kercher. Today, after being dramatically cleared in a late-night court hearing in Perugia, the 24-year-old has been buoyed by her return home to Seattle and is making plans for a new life. Internationally famous, she is poised to become a millionairess several times over.

A book is planned, talk-show hosts are falling over themselves for a lucrative first interview, and actresses are lining up to play the fresh-faced young woman in a movie of her extraordinary story.

On Tuesday, Amanda’s father, Curt, returned to the family home. His daughter was at a secret location, he said, but hopes to resume her course at the University of Washington, where she enrolled before her ill-fated Italian trip. He told reporters: “Amanda needs some time to readjust. She’s overwhelmed. It will be nice to see what normal life is like again.”

Normal life is likely to prove impossible for Amanda for some time, however. She has been thrown into a whirlwind of enticing interview offers, Hollywood agents, buy-up merchants and scandal vultures, as America clamours to hear her voice. In addition, she could still face an appeal trial.

Mindful, though, of appearing too triumphalist, the Knox family have avoided any big public celebrations. Perhaps they’ve learnt the lessons of two British women who have walked this path before: Louise Woodward and Joanne Lees. Both women achieved worldwide notoriety for crimes they did not commit. Both have lived in the shadow of innuendo and doubt. And as we shall see, the lives of Woodward and Lees have been indelibly marked by their experiences. more