A tearful Amanda Knox arrived home in Seattle on Wednesday, after spending four years in an Italian prison for the murder of her roommate — a murder that an Italian appeals court determined this week she didn't commit. Knox, 24, gave a brief, emotional statement thanking supporters for defending her (see the video below), then said she just wanted to go home and spend time with her family. Knox's life was interrupted halfway through college. What happens now? Here, six theories:
1. She'll be a "big star"
Donald Trump, who offered to help the Knox family pay its $1 million in legal bills, told CNN that Knox has the potential to "become a big star." It's not entirely clear what he meant, but, minutes after Knox's acquittal, Seattle radio station KQMV offered her $10,000 to host its morning show for a week. "We would all love to hear what you have to say and maybe help a little with the legal bills," the station said. "Welcome home!"
2. Knox will make a lot of money from TV interviews
KQMV may have to up its offer. "The exclusive first TV interview with Knox could fetch between $500,000 and $1 million," says Las Vegas publicist Bruce Merrin, as quoted by the Seattle Times. And if Knox wants to tell her story at conventions and trade shows, she could collect an estimated $60,000 an hour, Merrin adds: "Because she is so unique, and because of what she's gone through, her speaking fees would be relatively high."
3. She'll get a seven-figure book deal
"Knox will need to figure out how to earn a living," says Margaret Hartmann at Jezebel, "and with all the media attention she wouldn't really be able to get a temporary waitressing job even if she wanted to." No worries: Rumor has it Knox wrote her memoirs during her years in a prison outside Perugia. "That could be worth millions," says CBS News, "to publishers eager to profit on one of the most sensational international legal cases in memory."
4. She'll campaign for the wrongfully accused
As one of her friends, Jessica Nichols, tells BBC News, Knox was never the "Foxy Knoxy" party girl portrayed in the media. And now, she's even more serious-minded. "She wants to work with people who are wrongfully imprisoned," Nichols says, "and hopefully use her experience to benefit others, and make something good out of all of this ugliness."
5. Knox will go back to school
For now, the family is focused on helping Knox deal with the trauma of her ordeal, her father, Curt Knox, tells the Associated Press. "The focus simply is Amanda's well-being and getting her re-associated with just being a regular person again," he says. Eventually, though, she wants to return to her school, the University of Washington, and finish her degree. Knox was a junior, studying foreign languages and writing, when she left to study in Italy in 2007.
6. Knox will find she can't escape the spotlight
Knox is free, but she will never escape suspicions of guilt, says The Hollywood Gossip. TV legal analyst Nancy Grace, for one, insists that Knox's acquittal, not her conviction, was the "miscarriage of justice." Knox has been "demonized and celebrified" in the media, says Roy Greenslade at Britain's Guardian, and that's something she'll have to live with.
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