— She could write a book and sell the movie rights to her story, but Amanda Knox will make those decisions on her own time, her lawyer said Wednesday.
Right now, she is just happy to be back on her home soil after her 2009 murder conviction was overturned by an Italian appeals court Monday. Her lawyer, Theodore Simon, spoke with TODAY’s Matt Lauer on Wednesday about her exhilarating and exhausting return home and her upcoming media strategy.
The family used two cars to exit the airport in Seattle on Tuesday night in order to avoid the media throng. Having incurred legal and other fees that approach $1 million during Knox’s four-year imprisonment, Knox and her family could certainly turn to a book, movie or interviews to help defray those costs. But for now, said Simon, they're taking it slow.
“I believe she has a great appreciation of how worldwide this story is,’’ Simon said. “She’s going to make these decisions as things go forward, but I can tell you — and I’ve been a criminal defense lawyer for more than 37 years — I am amazed how strong she is and how healthy she seems.’’
Knox’s family has employed David Marriott, whose public relations firm specializes in crisis management, since Knox’s arrest in 2007 on charges of murdering and sexually assaulting her roommate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy.
Her tearful news conference at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle on Tuesday night was Knox’s idea, said Simon.
“This was very carefully planned with great concern for Amanda and her welfare as well as her security,’’ Simon said. “It was truly amazing. It was emotional. This was a question that was going to be put to her.
“It was going to be her decision. She either was not going to say anything, say a few words or as much as she wanted to. Despite the fact that she was very worn and tired, she felt a great obligation to thank everyone. She did it spontaneously and of her own accord.’’
Knox stood before a crowd of media and supporters after a gripping hug from her father, Curt Knox, that Simon called “tearful and powerful.’’ She tried to drink in a scene that was surreal to her.
“I’m really overwhelmed right now — I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn’t real,” she said. “What’s important for me to say is just thank you to everyone who has believed in me, who had defended me, who has supported my family.”
"The focus simply is Amanda's well-being and getting her re-associated with just being a regular person again," Curt Knox said in front of his home in West Seattle.
The media and the lobbying efforts of Knox, her family and her supporters played a key role in changing her image in the past year. After being convicted of a lurid crime that had Italian prosecutors painting her as “Satanic’’ and a “she-devil,’’ a significant amount of time was spent trying to rehabilitate her image in the press.
“When you know Amanda, you really get to know what kind of sweet, kind, generous, charitable person she is,’’ Simon said. “She’s joyful and incredibly thoughtful. She’s just a sweet, nice person and this is what I think dominates her character. She has indomitable strength. She clearly gets that from her parents. It’s much more about everyone else and less about her.’’
The prosecution has stated that it will challenge the overturned conviction; Knox’s lawyers are prepared.
“Legally, we feel fairly strong,’’ Simon said. “On further appeal, (the Supreme Court) doesn’t have the same broad scope of review (of the evidence). It’s really just very narrow. Simply, was there an error of law? We don’t think there was, so we remain pretty confident that this will hold.’’