Lawyers for jailed American student Amanda Knox, who is appealing her sentence in the killing of her British housemate in Italy, are threatening to sue Lifetime if it goes ahead with plans to air a film about the killing.
Attorneys for Knox and the family of the victim in the case, Meredith Kercher, have said in separate letters that the made-for-TV movie should be abandoned.
"To have a film so soon, on such a violent death and with the memory of this tragedy so fresh in the family's mind seems totally inappropriate and unjustified," Francesco Maresca, a lawyer representing Kercher's family, told Reuters.
Knox's attorneys are worried the film's airing could influence the appeal. Knox, 23, has been sentenced to 26 years in prison, and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years. Prosecutors said the killing was part of a sex game that turned violent.
Hayden Panettiere, who plays Knox, told TheWrap last month that she hadn't reached a decision about Knox's innocence or guilt.
"We spent five weeks every day talking about it and talking about it and reading about it and looking at new evidence trying to form some sort of opinion about it, and it's like, 'She's guilty. She's innocent. She's guilty. She's innocent. It genuinely — I can't say that I have an opinion," the actress said.
"Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy," is due to air on Feb. 21.