American TV networks are clamouring for the first interview with Amanda Knox, who was cleared of murdering British student Meredith Kercher yesterday.
Thanks to the media circus that ensued after Meredith Kercher’s death in Perugia, Italy, four years ago, TV networks can’t wait to get a piece of Knox, who was jailed for four years before she proved her innocence.
First interviews after appeals can attract huge sums of money, with Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of her daughter’s murder earlier this year, being offered $1.5 million in a bidding war between NBC, ABC and CBS.
Her first offer – minutes after the verdict was announced – came from Seattle radio station KQMV, offering her $10,000.
A statement from the station read: “KQMV has a job for Amanda Knox. We're glad you’re free Amanda and look forward to welcoming you home! We believed in you all along, so much so, that we would like to extend an offer of $10,000 to you to come host our morning show for one week.”
Bids from national US networks are expected to reach much higher figures, and one TV company was reported to have hired a private jet to take Knox and her family home to Seattle after the 24-year-old won her appeal against a 26-year murder sentence.
Diane Sawyer from ABC is said to be a likely candidate to sit down with Knox when she gets back to the US.
Sawyer has several first interviews under her belt – including that of abducted Jaycee Dugard and Captain Mark Kelly, the wife of US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head.
The Today Show’s Matt Lauer is also looking favourable to win the interview.
Others trying to score the coveted chat are Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira and CNN personalities Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan.
Oprah Winfrey would have been in the running, but her show ended in May.
Knox’s sisters and father gave interviews to ABC and NBC before the verdict.
Crisis management expert with Levick Strategic Communications, Gene Grabowski, said: "I think that anything with her name on it and her face on it will create an interest.
"This is the United States of Entertainment. There’s a constant market for entertainment".
The gripping story has already been aired on Lifetime channel, in a controversial movie called Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, starring Hayden Panettiere as Knox.
Both the Knox and Kercher families objected to some scenes.
Another movie is rumoured to be in the pipeline, starring Colin Firth as a journalist covering the trial. There are also rumours of a book deal.