Amanda Knox Slams Matt Damon's Stillwater Film For Damaging Her "Reputation"

Amanda Knox expressed frustration with Matt Damon's new film Stillwater, which was loosely inspired by the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.

By Cydney Contreras Jul 30, 2021 1:12 AMTags

Amanda Knox made it perfectly clear that she will not be seeing Stillwater when it premieres in theaters.

Ahead of the film's July 30 release date, the 34-year-old spoke out against the Matt Damon vehicle, which she believes wrongfully appropriated her real-life experience following the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.

"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?" she questioned in a July 29 Twitter thread. "I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER."

Knox stated that she recently read Vanity Fair's interview with Stillwater director and co-writer Tom McCarthy, who described how her ties to Kercher's murder inspired him, Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain, and Noé Debré to write this drama noir. As he told the publication, "There were just so many layers to that story that kept anyone who was following pretty riveted."

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However, McCarthy also said they wanted to reimagine a scenario that showcased what it was like for Knox's family to endure her conviction and eventual acquittal from overseas. "We decided, ‘Hey, let's leave the Amanda Knox case behind,'" he explained. "But let me take this piece of the story—an American woman studying abroad involved in some kind of sensational crime and she ends up in jail—and fictionalize everything around it."

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Even so, Knox wrote that she is upset by her name constantly being mentioned when Kercher's memory is often forgotten by the public.  

"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," she stated. "It refers to the events that resulted from the murder of Meredith Kercher by a burglar named Rudy Guede."

Knox added that if it weren't for "the shoddy police work, prosecutorial tunnel vision, and [Italian police's] refusal to admit their mistakes," she wouldn't have been involved in the investigation or wrongfully convicted twice for Kercher's murder. She explained, "Everyone else in that 'saga' had more influence over events than I did. The erroneous focus on me by the authorities led to an erroneous focus on me by the press, which shaped how I was viewed. In prison, I had no control over my public image, no voice in my story."

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"This focus on me led many to complain that Meredith had been forgotten," Knox said. "But of course, who did they blame for that? Not the Italian authorities. Not the press. Me! Somehow it was my fault that the police and media focused on me at Meredith's expense."

She went on to detail how her life is now inextricably linked to Kercher's death, expressing anger that in most headlines "Meredith's name is often left out, as is Rudy Guede's."

Guede was released from prison in late 2020 following his 2008 murder conviction.

And in light of the #MeToo movement, Knox said she was hopeful people were "coming to understand how power dynamics shape a story," referencing President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. "It matters what you call a thing. Calling that event the 'Lewinsky Scandal' fails to acknowledge the vast power differential, & I'm glad that more people are now referring to it as 'the Clinton Affair' which names it after the person with the most agency in that series of events."

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She continued, "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... 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."

With this in mind, she requested that people "don't blame me for the fact that others put the focus on me instead of Meredith," that her story is approached with more empathy and for writers to mention that while she was convicted of murder twice, she was also acquitted of the crime. Plus, she voiced disapproval of certain descriptions of the trial, writing, "Sordid: morally vile. Not a great adjective to have placed next to your name. Repeat something often enough, and people believe it.

Knox also acknowledged that Stillwater isn't the first, nor will it be the last, project to "rip off my story without my consent at the expense of my reputation." She rattled off a list of movies, books and shows that discussed the Kercher case, claiming she was never asked to participate in their development.

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And though Stillwater is out soon and it's too late for her to offer any guidance, she said she welcomes a discussion with McCarthy and Damon on the condition that they stop using her image to promote 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 posited.

Knox wrapped up her lengthy Twitter thread by stating she forgives McCarthy and Damon, because she understands they "have no moral obligation to consult me when profiting by telling a story that distorts my reputation in negative ways."

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That being said, Knox remains frustrated by the fact that films like Stillwater renew interest in a traumatic life event. "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 said. "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 was acquitted of Kercher's murder in 2013 and 2014 and has returned to the United States and become an advocate for criminal justice, often speaking publicly about wrongful convictions and other matters.

To learn more about the investigation into Kercher's death, read E! News' in-depth story here.

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