Here’s what we know: Sometime in late 2010 or early 2011, “Amanda Knox” directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn hooked up with Stephen Robert Morse and decided to create a documentary on Knox. Morse and Blackhurst went to Perugia in September of 2011, when Knox’s first appeal was heard. It appears that McGinn may have been with them, and that they connected with journalist Mario Spezi (who had previously been arrested by prosecutor Mignini for interfering with an investigation).
The Kercher family was represented at trial by their lawyer, Francesco Maresca. In Italy, the civil suit happens at the same time as the criminal suit, so Maresca was there to represent the Kerchers in their civil suit against the defendants for Meredith’s death. As a part of the original conviction in 2009, the Kerchers were awarded damages.
Knox’s defenders frequently attacked the Kercher family and their lawyer, Maresca, for the damages awarded to the Kercher family. Knox’s defenders claimed Maresca and the Kercher family were driven by the monetary damages awarded to the Kerchers.
Producer Stephen Morse, while covering the appeals, joined in these attacks on Meredith’s family, claiming the Kerchers were blinded by money. While covering the appeals, Morse stated his belief the DNA evidence would result in an acquittal. Three days later, while waiting for the verdict, Morse claimed the Kerchers were ignoring evidence. In a tweet (still availableSept 2016), Morse charged the Kercher family with being driven by money:
For US readers, this is similar to claiming the Nicole Brown family was only out for money when they filed their civil suit against O.J. Simpson.
Two of the Kerchers- Meredith’s father John and her brother Lyle- have previously spoken about the symbolic nature of the damages, and that they do not care about the money awarded. In 2009 Lyle told the Guardian “It’s not the case that this has ever been about us seeking money, which is why we’ve been reluctant to do much media stuff throughout. That money will never really change anything in that respect.”
Meredith’s father John Kercher spoke to the Sun after the Hellmann appellate court overturned the trial conviction. He spoke out against potential book and movie deals for Knox and Sollecito:
Kercher explained that their civil claim- and an £8million damages award made when Knox was convicted – were symbolic in Italian law. “I find it distasteful that Knox stands to make millions from what happened to Meredith. I don’t think anyone should make money out of it – not us, not them,” he said.
“How would any parent feel if their daughter’s murder was to be turned into a movie for people’s entertainment?”
“We would not take a single cent from Amanda Knox,” Kercher added.
Nobody has asked yet how much Netflix is paying Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn, and producer Stephen Robert Morse for the rights to add the “Amanda Knox” film to Netflix’s library on September 30th.