Could 'Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial' movie increase the real Knox's legal woes?

hayden-knox.jpgWe've all heard the story and watched the extensive news coverage of Amanda Knox, the 23-year-old all-American girl who has been accused of murdering her roommate while on an exchange program in Italy. Knox was convicted despite incredibly circumstantial evidence. It seems we've all made up our minds as to whether the girl who was called "Foxy Knoxy" by her teammates and her Italian boyfriend could have killed Meredith Kercher.

All of us, of course, except Hayden Panettiere, who plays Knox in Monday's Lifetime film, "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy." Panettiere insists that while portraying Knox, she kept an open mind as to her innocence or her guilt.

"Lifetime was like, 'Don't say whether you think she is guilty or innocent.' But I couldn't even tell you, because I haven't decided. The approach I had to take was that even if she was guilty, she had convinced herself she was innocent," Panettiere tells The LA Times' Amy Kaufman. "I had her voice recordings on my iPod and I'd listen to her intonations as close as I could. I wasn't sleeping during production because I was nervous."

Panettiere has never met with Knox. In fact, no one on the production team met with Knox, her parents, or the parents of slain Meredith Kercher.

In the prison where she is serving her 26-year sentence, Knox did see the trailer for the movie, and it caused her to hyperventilate and get physically sick. "I'm sure it's upsetting for her to relive it, so I cannot blame her for feeling how she does," says Hayden. Still, she insists that the film was made with the best of intentions.

"It's nothing that would incriminate her or sway a judge's opinion of her in a court of law. That's the main concern here."

The film's trailers portrayed graphic scenes of Kercher being attacked while stripped down to her bra, as well as a steamy sex scene between Knox and her boyfriend. When the Knox and Kercher families (and the public) were shocked by the trailers, Lifetime and Youtube pulled them and re-edited them. It is unknown as to whether the actual movie has been edited to remove objectionable scenes.

Knox is appealing her conviction, and to protect her, her family has issued a formal complaint against Lifetime, concerned that the film could further bias a judge. "We have to act to protect Amanda, given the biased nature of the content in the trailer, and the unknown, and potentially harmful content of the actual film. The movie harms Amanda's presumption of innocence as afforded her by the Italian constitution," says her stepfather. "It is ill timed and inappropriate in many ways, so we have no other choice but to protest its airing."

Will you be tuning in to "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy"? Do you think Lifetime should have held off on the film? Sound off in the comments section!
Photo/Video credit: Lifetime
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