Amanda Knox slams Matt Damon and his film 'Stillwater' for profiting off her story

Directed by Oscar winner Tom McCarthy, the thriller is about an American father who goes to France to help his daughter in prison for a murder she says she didn't commit

In 'Stillwater', a potential Oscar contender, Matt Damon plays an American oil rig worker who travels to France to help his daughter who is in prison. Focus Features
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Amanda Knox has slammed Hollywood star Matt Damon and director Tom McCarthy for trying to profit off her story without her consent with their coming thriller Stillwater.

Knox, an American who was tried and acquitted of the murder of her roommate in Italy more than a decade ago, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that the film "ripped off my story without my consent at the expense of my reputation".

"Does my name belong to me? Does my face? What about my life? My story? Why is my name used to refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, and story without my consent. Most recently, the film Stillwater," Knox writes.

Stillwater, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier in July, opened in US cinemas at the weekend. It tells the story of an American oil rig worker, played by Damon, who travels to France to help his daughter who's been sent to prison for a murder she says she didn't commit.

The film is seen as a potential Oscar contender.

Knox, now 34, and her former boyfriend were twice convicted of the 2007 killing of her roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. They were exonerated in 2015. Rudy Guede, a local man, was found guilty of the murder in Perugia and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Now working as a criminal justice activist, she said in her blog post that the movie "is just the tabloid conspiracy guilter version of me".

Director Tom McCarthy, left, and Matt Damon at the Cannes Film Festival. AP

"By fictionalising 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. And with Matt Damon’s star power, both are sure to profit handsomely off of this fictionalisation of 'the Amanda Knox saga' that is sure to leave plenty of viewers wondering, 'Maybe the real-life Amanda was involved somehow'," she writes.

Director McCarthy, who won the Oscar Best Picture for his 2015 film Spotlight, had earlier said that Stillwater was directly inspired by Knox's story.

Amanda Knox speaking at the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena, Italy, in 2019. Reuters

“There were so many characters around the case that I really followed pretty closely,” he told Vanity Fair earlier this week. “But really the first thing that I took away from it was, what would that be like as an American student to go over [to Europe] for what should be one of the most exciting moments in a young-adult life and to find yourself in that tragedy? There were just so many layers to that story that kept anyone who was following pretty riveted…. Who are the people that are visiting [her], and what are those relationships? Like, what’s the story around the story?”

While he and his team ultimately decided to not make a film about Knox's case, they decided instead to flesh out a fictional story inspired by it.

“We decided, ‘Hey, let’s leave the Amanda Knox case behind,’” he said. “But let me take this piece of the story – an American woman studying abroad involved in some kind of sensational crime and she ends up in jail – and fictionalise everything around it.”

Knox, in her blog post, said she had not been approached by McCarthy about the film.

"My family and I have a lot to say about that, and would have told McCarthy… if he’d ever reached out," she writes. "You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind very well if every single review mentions me. You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind when my face appears on profiles and articles about the film."

Updated: July 31, 2021, 7:49 AM