1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Lawyer: Knox felt ‘obligation’ to thank supporters

  1. Transcript of: Lawyer: Knox felt ‘obligation’ to thank supporters

    MATT LAUER, co-host: Stephanie Gosk , thank you very much . Theodore Simon is the American attorney for Amanda Knox . He had a private meeting with Amanda after that press conference and was with her and her family last night. Mr. Simon , good to see you. Good morning.

    Mr. THEODORE SIMON (Knox Family Attorney): Good morning, Matt.

    LAUER: Before we get to the emotional side of this, take me through the choreography, if you will, of the arrival at the airport, how the speech occurred, all of that sort of thing.

    Mr. SIMON: Sure. This was very carefully planned, with great concern for Amanda and her welfare, as well as her security. And basically, everyone at British Airways helped, and all the people at the airport helped. It was arranged for a private meeting just myself and David Marriott , the family's press relations person. Everyone came off the runway. Amanda , her mom, Chris , Curt and the rest of the family. It was truly amazing, it was emotional.

    LAUER: Had she always planned to speak, Mr. Simon , or was that more spontaneous?

    Mr. SIMON: No, 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. And she, despite the fact that she was very worn and tired, felt a great obligation to thank everyone and said she would do it. She did it spontaneously and of her own accord. I can tell you, just before she spoke, she had a very emotional embrace with her father that was -- it was just tearful and powerful.

    LAUER: Do you think -- and she talked about the fact that as she flew in, she looked down from the plane and nothing seemed real to her, then she landed, there was this huge outpouring of supporters and, of course, a crush of media. Even though she's been somewhat kept aware of the interest level, do you think she fully grasped the level of interest in her story?

    Mr. SIMON: I believe she has a great appreciation of how worldwide this story is. But when you know Amanda , you really get to see what a sweet, kind, generous, charitable person she is. I mean, 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.

    LAUER: Right.

    Mr. SIMON: And it's much more about everyone else and less about her. The way she interacts with her family, the way she interacts with her cousins. I mean, after we left the airport, we left in two cars. And fortunately, we were able to manage a way in which to go in one direction and avoid the throngs of press...

    LAUER: Well, I'm glad you bring that up...

    Mr. SIMON: ...and get to her house.

    LAUER: ...because there's this huge interest level in this right now, Ted , and the press wants to see her, they want to hear from her. It would seem very unfair to keep her locked behind the door of her house. I mean, what kind of freedom is that after all these years ? So how do you intend to get her the space she's going to need?

    Mr. SIMON: Well, you know, I would have to disagree with you, Matt. This was anything but being locked away.

    LAUER: No, I'm talking about in the near future.

    Mr. SIMON: Well, I -- 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.

    LAUER: As you know, Ted , the prosecution in Italy has already said they will appeal this to the supreme court . So is there any trepidation on Amanda's part that, in fact, it's not quite over?

    Mr. SIMON: That was not discussed. But legally we feel fairly strong. As you know, the first appellate process permits a review of the facts, a reopening of the facts, a redetermination of the facts. And that's what caused this case to be reversed, and a recognition that she was wrongly convicted. But on the further appeal to the supreme court of Italy , they don't have the same broad scope of review. 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.

    LAUER: All right, Ted Simon , who spent time with Amanda and her family over the last several hours. Mr. Simon , good to see you. Thanks for your time.

By
TODAY contributor
updated 10/5/2011 8:45:46 AM ET 2011-10-05T12:45:46

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.

  1. Stories from
    1. Rumer Willis Flashes Pink Thong in Majorly Bare LBD
    2. President Obama Challenges Japanese Robot to Soccer Game
    3. Richard Gere and Kyra Sedgwick Convince New Yorkers They're Homeless
    4. Elizabeth Banks Takes Over PEOPLE's Twitter During Press Day for Walk of Shame
    5. Diane Keaton: Why I Never Got Married
Story: Emotional pressure eases as Knox goes free

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.

Video: Lawyer: Knox felt ‘obligation’ to thank supporters (on this page)

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.

Story: The tireless battle over Amanda Knox's image

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.”

Story: Knox lawyer: 'We're ready' for prosecution contest

"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.

Slideshow: Amanda Knox: Her long legal saga (on this page)

“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.’’

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: Amanda Knox: Her long legal saga

loading photos...
  1. Amanda Knox: Her long legal saga

    The long legal saga of Amanda Knox, an American student accused of the violent death of her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, has made headlines around the world since it began in Perugia, Italy, in late 2007.

    Reversal of fortune
    From left, Pierluigi Puglia, member of the British consulate in Italy; Stephanie Kercher, sister of the late Meredith Kercher; her brother, Lyle Kercher, and lawyer Francesco Maresca speak to the press in Florence on Jan. 31, 2014, the day after the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007 were reinstated in Italy. The verdict overturned Knox and Sollecito's successful appeal in 2011, which released them after four years in jail. (Franco Origlia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Reconvicted

    Amanda Knox is shown here in Seattle after serving four years in prison after being convicted in a case involving the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. Her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is shown here in Florence, Italy, on Jan. 20, 2014. Though both were acquitted on appeal and released in 2011, they were re-convicted of the murder on Jan. 30, 2014. (Splash News, AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Awaiting another verdict

    Raffaele Sollecito leaves court in Florence, Italy, on Jan. 30, 2014. The Italian ex-boyfriend of Amanda Knox awaited the court's verdict in the retrial of both Knox and himself for the murder of Meredith Kercher more than two years after they were acquitted. (Maurizio Degl' Innocenti / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A new trial

    Francesco Maresca, lawyer for the family of Meredith Kercher, talks to reporters as he arrives for the start of Amanda Knox's second appeals trial in Florence, Italy, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Italy's highest court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, overturning their acquittals in the 2007 slaying of Kercher. (Francesco Bellini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Not going back

    Amanda Knox appeared on TODAY on Sept. 20, 2013, to discuss her upcoming retrial in Florence for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox maintained that she would not go back to Italy to face trial again: "It's not a possibility, as I was imprisoned as an innocent person and I just can't relive that," she told Matt Lauer. (Peter Kramer / NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. A memoir

    Filled with details first recorded in the journals Amanda Knox kept while in Italy, "Waiting to be Heard," Knox's memoir, is set to be released on April 30, 2013. (HarperCollins via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Acquittal overturned

    Luciano Ghirga, lawyer of Amanda Knox, center, talks to journalists as he leaves Italy's Court of Cassation in Rome on March 26, 2013. Italy's highest criminal court overturned the acquittal of Amanda Knox in the slaying of her British roommate and ordered a new trial. The court ruled that an appeals court in Florence would have to re-hear the case against the American and her Italian-ex-boyfriend for the murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Home at last

    Amanda Knox makes remarks after arriving in Seattle a day after her release from prison in Italy on Oct. 4, 2011. She was acquitted of murder and sexual assault by an Italian appeals court after spending four years in custody over the killing of her British housemate, Meredith Kercher. At left is her father, Kurt Knox. (Dan Levine / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Welcome home

    Well-wishers greet Amanda Knox upon her arrival at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle a day after her release from prison in Italy on Oct. 4, 2011. (Dan Levine / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Tears of relief

    Amanda Knox cries after hearing the verdict that overturned her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court on Monday, Oct. 3. The Italian appeals court threw out Amanda Knox's murder conviction and ordered the young American freed after nearly four years in prison. (Pier Paolo Cito / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Home front

    Supporters of Amanda Knox react as they watch a news broadcast about her appeal verdict from a hotel suite in downtown Seattle on Oct. 3. (Elaine Thompson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Sisterly support

    Amanda Knox's sister Deanna Knox, center, cries tears of joy in Perugia's Court of Appeal after hearing that Amanda won her appeal against her murder conviction on Monday in Perugia, Italy. (Oli Scarff / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Closing arguments

    Amanda Knox, accused of the 2007 murder of her housemate Meredith Kercher, arrives in court as her appeal trial resumes in Perugia, on Sept. 30, 2011. Wrapping up the defense case, Knox's lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, points to alleged errors by police and urges a panel of lay and professional judges to look beyond how Knox has been portrayed by the media and the prosecution. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Hoping for her release

    Amanda Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga (left), and her father, Curt Knox (right), use their mobile phones at the court during her Sept. 30, 2011, appeal trial session in Perugia. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Her fate in the balance

    Amanda Knox arrives at the court during her appeal trial session in Perugia, Italy, on Sept. 30, 2011. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Her ex-boyfriend

    Raffaele Sollecito attends his appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on Sept. 29, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are awaiting the verdict of their appeal that could see their conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher overturned. (Oli Scarff / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. He calls her 'she-devil'

    Carlo Pacelli (center), lawyer for Patrick Lumumba, (left) -- a barman who is seeking damages from Amanda Knox as part of a civil case running alongside her murder appeal -- speaks outside the Perugia courthouse on Sept. 26, 2011. Pacelli called Knox a "she-devil" and told the appeals court she destroyed Lumumba's image by falsely accusing him of the murder, testimony that helps prosecutors attack her credibility. Knox has said she wrongly implicated Lumumba under pressure from police. . (Mario Laporta / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Legal battleground

    Through the bars of holding cells, a view of the courtroom in Perugia on Sept. 6, 2011, before the resumption of the appeal trial of Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. (Fabio Muzzi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. New 'do

    Sporting a new, short haircut, jailed Amanda Knox attends a preliminary hearing in Perugia, Italy, on June 1, 2010. (Fabrizio Troccoli / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Awaiting sentence

    Amanda Knox is driven into court at midnight to hear the sentence in her murder trial on Dec. 5, 2009, in Perugia, Italy. Knox was convicted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted of the murder charges. He was sentenced to 25 years. (Franco Origlia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Pleading her case

    Amanda Knox looks on during a break in the closing arguments of the murder trial in Perugia, Italy on Dec. 3, 2009. She read a statement during her murder trial on Dec. 3, in Italiian saying, "I am afraid of having the mask of a murderer forced onto my skin." (Max Rossi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Police escort

    Murder suspect Amanda Knox, right, is escorted by a police officer as she arrives at Perugia's court, Italy, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. Italian prosecutors have begun their closing arguments in her trial. (Alessandra Tarantino / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The murder weapon?

    Prosecutor Manuela Comodi shows a knife during a hearing in the murder trial for Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, on Sept. 19, 2009. The knife, wrapped in plastic and kept in a white box, was shown to the eight-member jury during the trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. (Stefano Medici / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Victim in video

    At the trial of Amanda Knox, a music video that included an appearance by slain student Meredith Kercher was shown June 8, 2009. Kercher played the love interest in the video for the song "Some Say" by London musician Kristian Leontiou. The 2007 video was shot only weeks before Kercher died in Perugia, Italy, at age 21. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Boning up?

    Amanda Knox holds the Italian penal code book at the trial of slain British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, on Jan. 16, 2009. (Daniele La Monaca / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Back in court

    Amanda Knox, one of three suspects in the murder of Meredith Kercher, arrives at a Sept. 27, 2008 court hearing in Perugia, Italy. Kercher, a British student, was found dead in her Perugia flat on Nov. 1, 2007 with her throat cut. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Sister speaks out

    Stephanie Kercher reads a statement during a Sept. 15, 2008 press conference in Perugia, Italy as legal proceedings connected to the death of her sister, Meredith Kercher, approach a critical phase. (Antonio Calanni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. The victim's family

    Arline, mother of Meredith Kercher, answers newsmen questions flanked by Meredith's sister Stephanie, left, and brother Lyle, during a press conference in Perugia, Italy on April 18, 2008. (Leonetto Medici / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Headed to a hearing

    Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who along with Knox and Rudy Hermann Guede was held on suspicion in the murder of Knox’s housemate Meredith Kercher, is escorted by Italian police to a January 2008 hearing with magistrates. (Paolo Tosti / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Remembering Meredith

    A floral tribute with photographs of Meredith Kercher is shown at her funeral at Croydon Parish Church, South London on December 14, 2007. (Peter MacDiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Another suspect

    In December 2007, police in Germany arrested Rudy Hermann Guede, a native of the Ivory Coast, in connection with Meredith Kercher's murder. Here Guede is shown being led away by Italian police after arriving in Rome from prison in Germany. (Riccardo De Luca / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Arrested, then released

    Patrick Lumumba Diya, a Congolese man who owned a small bar in Perugia where Amanda Knox sometimes worked as a barmaid, was arrested after being implicated in the Meredith Kercher murder by Knox. However, he was released after another suspect, Rudy Hermann Guede, was arrested in the case. He is shown here leaving police headquarters with his lawyer on Nov. 20, 2007. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Under arrest

    Her cap pulled low, American student Amanda Knox was arrested on Nov. 6, 2007, for her alleged involvement in the brutal murder of her housemate, Meredith Kercher. (Pietro Crocchioni / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Searching for clues

    Police forensics investigators examined Meredith Kercher's Italian house while a coroner conducted a post-mortem investigation on the slain student's body. (Chris Radburn / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. The murder scene

    On Nov. 5, 2007, the rented hillside home that murder victim Meredith Kercher had shared with fellow student Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy was a crime scene. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Front-page news

    By Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007 Meredith Kercher's gruesome murder was front-page news in the central Italian city of Perugia. (Chris Radburn / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. The day after

    Amanda Knox, a student from Seattle who had been living with Meredith Kercher in Perugia, was arrested Nov. 6, 2007 for her alleged involvement in Kercher’s murder. Also held by police was Knox’s Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Taken Nov. 2, the day Kercher was found dead, this picture shows the pair outside the rented house Knox shared with Kercher. (Stefano Medici / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. The murder victim

    Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British exchange student, was found dead with her throat slit on Nov. 2, 2007 in her room in an apartment she shared with other exchange students in the Italian town of Perugia. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    Girl hands her jobless dad's resume to Michelle Obama

    4/24/2014 6:14:48 PM +00:00 2014-04-24T18:14:48
  1. Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images Contributor

    ‘No go’: Israel calls off peace talks after Palestinian deal

    4/24/2014 5:14:42 PM +00:00 2014-04-24T17:14:42
  1. Bruce Smith / AP

    Perfect for the entire gang: 5 best beaches for families

    4/24/2014 5:22:02 PM +00:00 2014-04-24T17:22:02
  1. U.S. Department of State

    John Kerry brings 'diplomutt' to work instead of his kids

    4/24/2014 4:51:15 PM +00:00 2014-04-24T16:51:15
  1. Deepak Chopra’s 3-step guide to thinking rich

    The physician, educator and best-selling author, is a firm believer a certain mindset can create affluence. He offers three strategies that can help you visualize your financial dreams and turn them into reality.

    4/24/2014 5:59:50 PM +00:00 2014-04-24T17:59:50