The 34-year-old writer and journalist called out the people involved in the movie that “profits off my name, face, & story without my consent,” she wrote on her website on Thursday. ET has reached out to Damon, director Todd McCarthy and Focus Features for comment.
“This new film by director Tom McCarthy, starring Matt Damon, is ‘loosely based’ or ‘directly inspired by’ the ‘Amanda Knox saga,’ as Vanity Fair put it in a for-profit article promoting a for-profit film, neither of which I am affiliated with,” she began. “I want to pause right here on that phrase: ‘the Amanda Knox saga.’ What does that refer to? Does it refer to anything I did? No. It refers to the events that resulted from the murder of Meredith Kercher by a burglar named Rudy Guede. 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.”
Knox made headlines after she was wrongfully convicted for the murder of a fellow exchange student in 2007. She then spent the next eight years fighting for her freedom, until she was acquitted in 2015. Knox was able to tell her side of the story in the Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox”.
“Stillwater”, meanwhile, follows Damon as Bill Baker, an oil worker from Stillwater, Oklahoma, who travels to France when his estranged daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) is charged with murdering her friend while studying in Marseille. Bill tries everything he can to help his daughter prove her innocence as time slowly runs out, while contending with stark cultural differences and a complex and radically different French legal system.
Knox continued by expressing that in the years she was wrongfully imprisoned and years of trial “everyone else in that ‘saga’ had more influence over the course of events than I did… I had no control over my public image, no voice in my story.”
This new film by director Tom McCarthy, starring Matt Damon, is “loosely based” or “directly inspired by” the “Amanda Knox saga,” as Vanity Fair put it in a for-profit article promoting a for-profit film, neither of which I am affiliated with.
— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021
She also wrote how in all of this, Kercher was forgotten, as was the real murder, while she continues to be associated with the “tragic series of events.”
“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 stated. “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. That being the case, I have a few small requests.”
She asked that people don’t blame her for “the fact that others put the focus on me instead of Meredith.” She also requested to understand how the people involved might be affected by the headlines, and for journalists to report the correct information about her acquittal and case.
Knox acknowledged that “Stillwater” “is by no means the first thing to rip off my story without my consent at the expense of my reputation.” However, she would like the chance to speak with McCarthy and Damon, or have been asked by them to give them insight before they got involved in the film.
“If you’re going to ‘leave the Amanda Knox case behind,’ and ‘fictionalize everything around it,’ maybe don’t use my name to promote it. You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind very well if every single review mentions me,” she pointed out, noting McCarthy’s quotes to Vanity Fair about the film. “You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind when my face appears on profiles and articles about the film.”
She also noted that by the film “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.” Knox also mentioned that with Damon attached, they have the star power to potentially make a profit off her fictionalized tale and “have viewers wondering, ‘Maybe the real-life Amanda was involved somehow.'”
Knox understands that the two men had no obligation to consult her when telling the story, but reiterated that she “never asked to become a public person.”
“I have not been allowed to return to the relative anonymity I had before Perugia,” she concluded. “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. It’s an uphill battle. I probably won’t succeed. But I’ve been here before. I know what it’s like facing impossible odds.”
ET spoke with McCarthy at the “Stillwater” NYC premiere earlier this month, where the director acknowledged the similarities to Knox’s life story.
“This is not the Amanda Knox story. Just inspired. 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,” he told ET. “Just go buy a ticket and get lost. Sit in a quiet theatre and enjoy it.”
ET also spoke with Damon that same night, where he opened up about “Stillwater”s successful Cannes debut and the overwhelming positive reviews they received. Watch below to hear what he said.
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