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Amanda Knox slams 'Stillwater' movie in powerful essay

In an essay published on Medium and Twitter, the journalist addressed sexism, the erasure of victims and her treatment in the press and in popular culture over the last 14 years.
/ Source: CNBC

Amanda Knox is speaking out against the new Matt Damon film “Stillwater.”

The journalist, who was wrongfully convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher and later acquitted of the crime, took to Twitter on Thursday to lambast the film’s director Tom McCarthy as well as the media for linking her name to the project.

“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? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent,” she wrote in the first of a series of tweets.

Knox’s Twitter thread, which is also posted as an essay on Medium, went on to address sexism, the erasure of victims and her treatment in the press and in popular culture over the last 14 years.

Since debuting at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, “Stillwater” has received mixed reviews from critics and stirred up debate about how much it may have been inspired by Knox’s own experience.

In interviews, McCarthy has maintained that the story is completely fictionalized and told Cleveland.com “there’s no similarity in our two stories beyond an American student in jail.”

In McCarthy’s film Damon plays Bill Baker, an oil rig worker from Oklahoma who travels to Marseille, France, after his estranged daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) is imprisoned for a murder she didn’t commit. Eager to prove his daughter’s innocence, Bill takes matters into his own hands, but comes up against language barriers and a complicated legal system.

The director told Vanity Fair that after hearing about Knox, he couldn’t help but imagine what it would feel like to be in her shoes. He also said he wanted to explore what it would be like for those closest to her to endure that kind of tragedy.

Amanda Knox addresses a panel discussion titled "Trial by Media" during the Criminal Justice Festival at the Law University of Modena, northern Italy on June 15, 2019.Vincenzo Pinto / AFP via Getty Images

Knox said that “Stillwater,” which premiered Friday in the U.S. and Canada, is “by no means the first” to “rip off” her story without consent and at the expense of her reputation.

The ending of the film differs greatly from the actual events of Knox’s acquittal, she said. In the film, Allison is revealed to have asked the killer to help get rid of her roommate. While she didn’t intend for him to kill her, her request indirectly led to the murder.

“How do you think that impacts my reputation?” Knox wrote. “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.”

Knox said that McCarthy and Damon had “no moral obligation” to consult her about the fictional story, but said she and her family would have had a lot to tell the director if he had reached out to them.

Knox went on to talk about how Kercher, the victim, has largely been erased from the narrative as is her killer Rudy Guede. She pointed to a recent New York Post headline about Guede’s release from prison which said “Man who killed Amanda Knox’s roommate freed on community service.”

“I want to pause right here on that phrase: ‘the Amanda Knox saga,’” Knox wrote. “What does that refer to? Does it refer to anything I did? No.”

After all, as Knox points out, her story is not “about an American woman studying abroad ‘involved in some kind of sensational crime.’ It’s about an American woman not involved in a sensational crime, and yet wrongfully convicted.”

Representatives from Universal, which distributes the film, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Read Amanda Knox’s full essay here.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “Stillwater.”

This story originally appeared on CNBC.