Amanda Knox is returning home now that her Italian murder conviction has been overturned — and the news media, most notably in Britain, are predicting she will make millions by telling her story.
A more poignant story is the PR campaign conceived and carried out from a Seattle high-rise building that played a critical role in drawing attention to her case and her innocence.
David Marriott, who has crisis communications credentials a mile long, was the person called by the father of Amanda Knox. He has worked tirelessly — and for some time without compensation — to proclaim her innocence, generating literally thousands of press mentions and in-depth coverage on television.
A partner in Gogerty Marriott based in Seattle, Marriott is the kind of guy you want to have a drink with and hear his stories. None is more compelling than his tale about trying initially to drum up media interest in the murder charge against a young Seattle woman studying in Italy and reputedly involved with drugs and sex parties. Marriott carefully cultivated an international audience that became riveted to every detail in the Knox case, reaching a crescendo in the appellate review of her case that ended in a reversal of her conviction and that of her former Italian boyfriend.
"At the same time we were helping the family get the truth out about their daughter, we also tried to help maintain some sense of normalcy in their lives," says the firm's website. The work sometimes involved tamping rumors fueled by official news leaks in Italy, which has a far different legal system than in the United States.
Nowadays, Marriott says he toggles between calls from TV producers and others willing to pay big money for the first official post-release interview of Knox. One media report said the bidding war has gone as high as $1 million for the rights to that interview. He has the numbers of producers from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and independent shows such as Oprah Winfrey on his speed dial.