Amanda Knox finally has a book deal after months of tense battling between 20 publishers desperate for a big money windfall.
Amanda Knox, 24, of Seattle, Washington, has signed for a reported $4 million with publisher HarperCollins to write about her murder conviction and acquittal in Italy.
While the deal will be respite for her family who spent $1 million just dealing with her trial, it will provoke anger from her alleged victim’s relatives.
The deal is expected to distress the family of Meredith Kercher, 21, the British student who lived with Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy, found in a pool of blood.
Amanda Knox, who was jailed for four years in Perugia, has only spoken publically once when she arrived back in the U.S. following her release last October.
Her family spent more than $1 million in legal, travel and living costs to be near her during the murder trial in Italy – and even more on her appeal.
Amanda Knox’s parents, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox, who divorced when she was aged just two, have put on a united front and took out second mortgages.
“Knox will give a full and unflinching account of the events that led to her arrest in Perugia,” a HarperCollins spokesman said on Thursday.
The spokesman added that Amanda Knox will talk about her “struggles with the complexities of the Italian judicial system” and read back journals she kept in prison.
“Knox will talk about her harrowing experience at the hands of the Italian police and later prison guards and inmates,” he said.
HarperCollins is promising Amanda Knox will “reveal never before-told details surrounding her case” about “the most challenging time of her young life”.
The book, currently untitled, is tentatively scheduled for early 2013. The mammoth financial agreement was disclosed by the New York Times.
It was negotiated by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, who has worked for President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush.
Some 20 publishers were interested in the book and Amanda Knox met with seven, all of whom submitted bids during a recent auction.
HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said that Amanda Knox, who studied creative writing, would work with a collaborator.
The company should be able to recoup some of its investment by selling TV interview rights on the back of the book.
Broadcasters are banned from paying for interviews but they routinely get around it by buying the rights to the interviewee’s book instead.
Amanda Knox’s editor will be Claire Wachtel, whose other authors have included crime novelist Dennis Lehane and journalist Cokie Roberts.
Publishers in recent years have shied from controversial defendants, especially since the fiasco of O.J. Simpson’s “If I Did It”.
That was a fictionalized account of Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder that was cancelled in 2006 by HarperCollins in response to public outrage.
After Casey Anthony was cleared last year of killing her two-year-old daughter, several publishers said they would not consider a book by her.
“I think it’s a huge gamble for somebody,” a publisher who had no intention of bidding on the story told the New York Times earlier this month.
“It’s not like she has been exonerated in a clear and definitive way.”
The value of her story has been compared to that of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped and held captive for almost two decades.
Casey Anthony had a book published last July that has sold 1.2 million copies. But while the deal is good news for Amanda Knox, her legal issues are not over.
Earlier this week, Italian prosecutors asked the top court to reinstate the murder convictions of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.
Raffaele Sollecito, who had reportedly been considering seeing Amanda Knox at Christmas, has since been pictured kissing and cuddling Annie Achille.
Annie Achille is an Italian volleyball player who is also his distant cousin.
Amanda Knox meanwhile has been seen hand-in-hand in Seattle with her new boyfriend, guitarist James Terrano.
Prosecutor Giovanni Galati said he is “very convinced” that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were responsible for Meredith Kercher’s death in November 2007.
But the Italian appeals court in October said the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were not corroborated by any evidence.
It added that the court hadn’t proven they were in the house when Meredith Kercher was killed.
A third defendant, Ivory Coast-born drifter Rudy Guede, was convicted in a separate trial of sexually assaulting and stabbing Meredith Kercher.
Rudy Guede’s 16-year sentence, reduced in appeal from an initial 30 years, was upheld by Italy’s highest court in 2010.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for Amanda Knox recently filed an appeal of her slander conviction in Italy.
The same court that overturned her murder conviction upheld the charges for slander – for falsely accusing bar owner Diya “Patrick” Lumumba of involvement in the slaying.
Diya Lumumba was freed after two weeks in prison for lack of evidence. Amanda Knox later said she was “manipulated” during her lengthy police interrogation.
A judge set Amanda Knox’s sentence for slander at three years, less than the time she spent in prison. That meant she could leave Italy and return to Seattle.