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Amanda Knox hires attorney for possible book deal

Amanda Knox gestures while speaking during a news conference at Sea-Tac International Airport, Washington
Amanda Knox gestures while speaking during a news conference at Sea-Tac International Airport, Washington

By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) - Amanda Knox, who was cleared of murder and freed from prison by an Italian court in October, has hired a prominent Washington, D.C.-based lawyer as she considers possible book deals, her spokesman said on Monday.

Knox, 24, has retained attorney Robert Barnett "to represent her in discussions with various book publishers who have expressed an interest in Amanda writing a book," spokesman David Marriott said.

"Mr. Barnett will also assist Amanda and her family in evaluating other opportunities as well," Marriott said in a statement.

Marriott did not elaborate on those additional opportunities but said few details of a potential book had been yet decided by Knox and her family, including an advance or the possibility of co-authors.

Barnett has previously represented President Barack Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, singer Barbra Streisand and a host of other political and entertainment luminaries in book deals.

The announcement comes a day after a Seattle-based literary agent announced that she had agreed to represent Knox's 27-year-old former Italian boyfriend and co-defendant in the sensational murder case, Raffaele Sollecito.

"This is a case I have followed from day one and never, not even for one moment, have I doubted the innocence of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox," agent Sharlene Martin said in a statement announcing that deal.

Knox, then a college student studying in Italy, and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of murdering her 21-year-old British housemate, Meredith Kercher in what prosecutors said was a drug-fueled sexual assault.

An Italian appeals court overturned their convictions in October after independent forensic investigators sharply criticized police scientific evidence in the original investigation, saying it was unreliable.

Knox made a tearful return to her hometown of Seattle last month, saying she was "overwhelmed" by her ordeal and return.

Her father said at the time that the former University of Washington student, whose trial gripped attention on both sides of the Atlantic, had not agreed to any media deals

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)