Hayden Panettiere, who stars as convicted murderer Amanda Knox in the upcoming Lifetime movie, “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy,” is firing back at criticisms leveled by the Knox family.
Knox is a young American woman currently serving time in an Italian prison for killing her roommate after a sensational trial that painted her as a sexual deviant. Her parents have complained that the film will make it more difficult for Knox’s conviction to be overturned on appeal.
Panettiere talked to reporters during a press conference about the made-for-television movie. “Considering there have been documentaries on it, it has been all over the news, there have been books written on it, I am a little surprised [Knox is upset],” she said. “I understand where she is coming from, but I have to say that the film and the way it was done is very fact driven. There is nothing that nobody has heard of before. Nothing that would incriminate her or sway the opinions of the judge or weigh in on the opinion at all.”
Panettiere claimed that she wanted to meet with Knox, but logistical difficulties made it impossible. “She only has two days of the week that she gets visitors and I would have had to go in the middle of filming to a different city. We were in Rome. I would have had to go with her family to do that. She only gets to see her family for two days. So to impede on that didn’t seem like the right thing to do.”
Panetierre also had an interesting rationale for taking on the role while Knox’s appeal is still working its way through Italy’s legal system. She claimed that if Knox personally told her that she did not want the film to be made, she would respond, “Look, they are going to do this film whether it is me playing you or not. At least I can sit in front of you and tell you that I will do my best to do you justice.”
After spending months researching the case and filming the movie, Panetierre still is unsure whether Knox is guilty. “Some weeks I feel like it was this constant pull and tug and this back and forth ‘she’s innocent, no, she’s guilty, no, she’s innocent…’ To the point where at the end, having spent as much time as I did on it, I truly, I have no idea. I really, really don’t have any idea. There are things you see and you go, ‘Oh my God, that’s crazy. She had to have been there.’ And then you are like, ‘No way. There is no way she had any involvement.’”
“Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy” airs Monday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m./EST on Lifetime.