The family of Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student who was found brutally murdered in her apartment in Perugia, Italy, is reportedly planning to sue American student Amanda Knox, for £8 million. Knox, 24, was one of two people charged with the murder of Kercher, 21. However, despite an initial trial that found both Knox and her former boyfriend, an Italian, Raffaele Sollecito, 27, guilty, both were acquitted on subsequent appeals.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Kercher's family intends to sue Knox for looking to profit, financially, from a number of media and entertainment-related deals that could pave the way to Knox publishing a book or authorizing a film on her alleged murder charges.
Knox and Kercher were both exchange students at the University of Perugia in Italy and shared an apartment with three other young women. In November 2007, Kercher's body was discovered, with multiple stab wounds and suspicions of sexual assault. In addition, some of her personal belongings were reported stolen. While Knox and Sollecito's acquittal may have restored normalcy in their lives, the identity of Kercher's real killer(s) remains unknown.
At the time of the first verdict, both Knox and Sollecito (and Rudy Guede, a small-time drug dealer who was also implicated) were ordered to pay a sum of £7.7 million to the Kercher family. However, this order was put on hold during further appeals and following the acquittal, the order has been withdrawn.
According to a report in the Sun, Knox is believed to be planning on cashing-in on her new-found celebrity status, with a series of book, television and film deals. In response, Meredith Kercher's father, John Kercher, reportedly told the Daily Mail that he was dreading the idea of Knox making money from the story of his daughter's death.
I think it would be more sensitive to Meredith's memory if Amanda Knox maintained a low profile. I don't want to say anything confrontational, but I believe it is wrong to capitalize on any murder. Not just for us, but for anyone, said Kercher.
This cult of celebrity is demeaning to Meredith's memory, disrespectful. I don't think Amanda Knox has actively sought out celebrity status; I think that has been created for her. But then again, she hasn't actively rejected it, he continued.