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“Does my name belong to me? My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER,” she wrote.
Knox referenced a recent Vanity Fair article in which the movie’s director and co-screenwriter Tom McCarthy said the film was directly inspired by the “Amanda Knox saga,” a phrase used by the writer that Knox took particular issue with.
“What does that refer to? Does it refer to anything I did? No. It refers to events that resulted from the murder of Meredith Kercher by a burglar named Rudy Guede,” Knox wrote. “It refers to the shoddy police work, prosecutorial tunnel vision, and refusal to admit their mistakes that led the Italian authorities to wrongfully convict me, twice. In those four years of wrongful imprisonment and 8 years of trial, I had zero agency.”
Knox goes on the argue that “everyone else in that ‘saga’ had more influence over the events than I did’ and contends that despite that, her name continues to be used in the media to reference Kercher’s death.
“I would love nothing more than for people to refer to the events in Perugia as ‘The murder of Meredith Kercher by Rudy Guede,’ which would place me as the peripheral figure I should have been, the innocent roommate,” she wrote. “But I know that my wrongful conviction, and subsequent trials, became the story that people obsessed over. I know they’re going to call it the ‘Amanda Knox saga’ into the future.”
Knox spent nearly four years in an Italian prison after being convicted—along with former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito—twice for killing Kercher in 2007 while she was studying abroad in Perugia, Italy.
Knox and Sollecito were both finally acquitted of the murder in 2015, ABC News reports.
Guede, whose DNA was found at the murder scene, was convicted of Kercher’s death in 2008 and was released from prison late last year after serving out his sentence. Italian prosecutors had initially contended that all three had worked together.
McCarthy told Vanity Fair that the sensational case served as the inspiration for his new movie.
“There were so many characters around the case that I really followed pretty closely,” McCarthy told the news outlet of Knox’s case. “But really the first thing that I took away from it was, what would that be like as an American student to go over [to Europe] for what should be one of the most exciting moments in a young-adult life and to find yourself in that tragedy?”
McCarthy said although the film was inspired by Knox’s own conviction—and ultimate acquittal—for Kercher’s murder, filmmakers decided to take one aspect of the story, the idea of an American woman studying abroad who finds herself immersed in a crime and “fictionalize everything around it,” ultimately opting to “leave the Amanda Knox case behind.”
“This is not the Amanda Knox story. Just inspired,” he also reiterated to ET at the movie’s New York City premiere. “So how would you describe this? It’s a tricky one to describe. I would say come and get lost in the movie. It goes places you don’t expect. I hope engaging.”
Knox argued, however, that if the movie was not her story, then McCarthy and others should stop using her name to promote it.
“You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind very well if every single review mentions me,” she wrote. “You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind when my face appears on profiles and articles about the film.”
“Stillwater” tells the story of an American, played by Abigail Breslin, studying in France when she is charged with her friend’s murder. Damon’s character, an oil worker from Oklahoma, travels to France to try to help his estranged daughter as they battle against the complex French legal system.
Knox also took issue with the film’s sinister ending which veers away from details of Knox’s case.
“By fictionalizing away my innocence, my total lack of involvement, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, McCarthy reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person,” she wrote. “And with Matt Damon’s star power, both are sure to profit handsomely off of this fictionalization of ‘the Amanda Knox saga’ that is sure to leave plenty of viewers wondering, ‘Maybe the real-life Amanda was involved somehow.’”
Knox extended an invitation to both Damon and McCarthy to appear on her podcast, Labyrinths, to discuss the movie and respond to her critiques.
“I have not been allowed to return to the relative anonymity I had before Perugia,” she wrote. “My only option is to sit idly by while others continue to distort my character, or fight to restore my good reputation that was wrongfully destroyed.”
Damon and McCarthy have yet to respond to the criticism.
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