Image: Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele Sollecito, pictured outside his home in Bisceglie, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Donato Fasano  /  AP
Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele Sollecito, pictured outside his home in Bisceglie, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 4. staff and news service reports
updated 10/6/2011 11:04:30 AM ET 2011-10-06T15:04:30

Amanda Knox's family has asked Raffaele Sollecito — her former boyfriend who was also cleared of the murder of Meredith Kercher — to come to her home town of Seattle, according to a report Thursday.

The Times newspaper, of the U.K., said that Sollecito's father, Francesco, spoke to reporters outside the house in the Italian town of Bisceglie, near Bari, where his son is currently staying after being released from four years in prison.

"We didn't manage to speak to Amanda. Raffaele didn't manage even by telephone. After the court ruling, we went in different directions, but through my daughter I learned that Amanda's stepfather [Chris Mellas] invited us to Seattle," he said, according to the paper (which operates behind a paywall). "At this time, we have nothing planned."

Raffaele Sollecito spoke briefly to Italy's ANSA news agency by phone after his release, The Times said.

"Amanda? Maybe I'll see her again, but now I only want to be with my family," he reportedly said.

Francesco Sollecito said his son appeared to have been "reborn," The Times said. "He's like a baby growing up that has to learn to get used to life," he told the reporters.

He said that he had attempted to speak to the Kercher family after the verdict that freed his son and Knox, but their lawyer intercepted him.

"I realized it was too soon," he said, according to The Times. "I hope that when they have digested the ruling, I will be able to have a meeting with the family of poor Meredith so they can understand that Amanda and Raffaele had nothing to do with this horrible death."

Sollecito read a statement by his son, in which he claimed police had been violent toward him after he was arrested, The Independent newspaper reported.

"I thought that I didn't have anything to worry about because they would look after me as my father had always told me they would," he said. "I certainly couldn't have imagined that rather than protect me the police would act with violence and coercion."

What next for Knox?
Meanwhile, there was growing speculation about what Knox will do next.

The Seattle Post-intelligencer reported that local TV stations have pledged to stay away from the homes of Knox's family members, but said there is still a noticeable presence from outside media organizations.

The newspaper reported, citing her father Curt, that Knox is not won't be found in either of her parents' neighborhoods.

Nevertheless, police were keeping an eye on the situation to make sure it didn't get out of hand.

"With that level of celebrity, there's always going to be some degree of problems," said Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, according to the report. He added that no one has reached out to police with specific concerns, but "we certainly have tools at our disposal that can be of assistance."

The types of issues encountered in such situations — harassing phone calls, trespassing, crowds — could necessitate stepped up police patrols, the Post-Intelligencer report said. But the police told the paper that it would do the same for any other resident finding him or herself in a that situation.

"We're not a private security company," Whitcomb told the newspaper. "But we are a responsive government agency. Certainly if there are any law violations surrounding Amanda's return, then we'll take it very seriously."

The intense interest in the case means the former American exchange student could get a book deal that easily reaches seven figures — and help pay back her family the money they spent to overturn her murder conviction in the death of her roommate in Italy.

Video: Knox family thanks supporters (on this page)

Speaking fees could earn her $50,000 a piece. Plus there are the movie rights.

"The importance of her telling her story is to give a picture of hope to people, but also to correct the misperceptions of her, the mischaracterizations of her, of who she is as a person," said Dave Marriott, a publicist hired by the family in 2007.

"For her to tell her story will help people understand what a wonderful young woman she is," Marriott said. "She has a very heartfelt story to tell."

And that story so far has been fodder for the tabloids. In Europe, she was dubbed "Foxy Knoxy." In the U.S., she became a cause celebre. In the countless hours of TV footage and hundreds of stories, there's a lot of material that she will need to counter.

Knox, 24, returned to her hometown of Seattle on Tuesday, a day after she was released.

Timeline: Amanda Knox trial (on this page)

She had been in custody since 2007, when she, Sollecito and another man were accused of killing Kercher, her British roommate, as part of a bizarre sex game. Her conviction was overturned after an independent review discredited DNA evidence presented in her first trial.

Despite that and what some saw as a far-fetched theory by prosecutors, suspicions remain in some quarters about how much she knew about the crime. Hundreds of young Italians jeered the acquittals outside the courtroom, yelling "Shame! Shame!"

And on Wednesday night, one of judges who served on the appeals court jury, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, stressed on state TV that the acquittals "resulted from the truth that was created in the trial."

"But the real truth could be different," he added. "They could also be responsible, but the proof isn't there."

Story: Italian judge: Knox might know 'truth' in case

Questions remained about some of Knox's behavior after her arrest. She reportedly turned cartwheels and did splits as she waited for police questioning. Investigators said she sat on Sollecito's lap, making faces and kissing him.

Knox confessed to having been at the apartment, covering her ears to drown out Kercher's screams, and later changed her story to say she was at Sollecito's apartment. She was convicted of wrongly implicating her boss, Congolese bar owner Diya "Patrick" Lumumba.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: What is the next chapter for Amanda Knox?

  1. Transcript of: What is the next chapter for Amanda Knox?

    MATT LAUER, co-host: Now to Amanda Knox and her new life back home in Seattle . What does the future hold? Will she write a book, will there be a movie deal? NBC 's Stephanie Gosk has the latest on this. Stephanie , good morning to you.

    STEPHANIE GOSK reporting: Good morning, Matt. One of the concerns when Amanda Knox came home was that she might not know exactly how famous she has become over the last four years. But after a day and a half she's starting to get it. The family lawyer says she's fully aware of all of the media requests that have been coming in, that for the moment, are not dying down.

    Offscreen Voice: Here she is. There's Amanda.

    GOSK: Interest in the young woman with the incredible story to tell has reached fevered pitch.

    Ms. AMANDA KNOX: They're reminding me to speak in English. So I am having problems with that.

    GOSK: The brief moment Amanda Knox spoke only piquing interest.

    Mr. DAVID MARRIOTT (Knox Family Media Advisor): I would really ask a big favor of all of you, and that is to give this family some time.

    GOSK: There has been a steady stream of calls for interviews, book deals and movie rights, but here in Seattle there are signs of growing sensitivity to the Knox family . A group of local TV stations has decided to back off. A letter to the family reads, "All these stations are pulling out of Amanda's West Seattle neighborhood -- that includes all of the Knox family homes -- to allow the family the peace they have asked for." David Marriott has handled public relations for the family since the Knox was arrested four years ago.

    Mr. MARRIOTT: The conversations about what happens next and what kind of story she wants to tell, we'll probably have those in a couple or three weeks, but for now we're trying to give her some breathing room.

    GOSK: He says it may be two to three months before Knox sits down to publicly tell her story. The 24-year-old has spent four years in an Italian jail for a murder conviction the court has now overturned. Finally home, she is focused on her recovery.

    Mr. CRAIG HANEY (Professor of Psychology, University of California): Prison is a profoundly traumatic experience for anybody and for people who have been exonerated, in a way it's even more traumatic because they've suffered for no good reason.

    GOSK: And for Amanda Knox it is even harder. International notoriety has practically forced her into hiding.

    Mr. MARRIOTT: The questions I got today, what did she eat last night? What is she going to eat for breakfast in the morning? So there's this very high level of interest. I think that will go down over time . But I would say it's not going to happen fully until she probably does tell her story.

    GOSK: But for now, while Knox gets reacquainted with freedom and spends time with her family , the story will have to wait. The family lawyer told us yesterday that actually she spent very little time talking about herself that first night at that party for family and friends , that a lot of it was her just asking questions to the people that she hasn't seen or talked to in such a long period of time. She also shared just one story about prison. She said that on the way out, in Italian jail, prisoners snap their toothbrushes as they're leaving as a kind of good luck charm to the people that are still inside, and that she actually did that on her way out, Matt.

Photos: Amanda Knox: Her long legal saga

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  1. Amanda Knox: Her long legal saga

    The long legal saga of Amanda Knox, an American student accused of the violent death of her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, has made headlines around the world since it began in Perugia, Italy, in late 2007.

    Reversal of fortune
    From left, Pierluigi Puglia, member of the British consulate in Italy; Stephanie Kercher, sister of the late Meredith Kercher; her brother, Lyle Kercher, and lawyer Francesco Maresca speak to the press in Florence on Jan. 31, 2014, the day after the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007 were reinstated in Italy. The verdict overturned Knox and Sollecito's successful appeal in 2011, which released them after four years in jail. (Franco Origlia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Reconvicted

    Amanda Knox is shown here in Seattle after serving four years in prison after being convicted in a case involving the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. Her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is shown here in Florence, Italy, on Jan. 20, 2014. Though both were acquitted on appeal and released in 2011, they were re-convicted of the murder on Jan. 30, 2014. (Splash News, AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Awaiting another verdict

    Raffaele Sollecito leaves court in Florence, Italy, on Jan. 30, 2014. The Italian ex-boyfriend of Amanda Knox awaited the court's verdict in the retrial of both Knox and himself for the murder of Meredith Kercher more than two years after they were acquitted. (Maurizio Degl' Innocenti / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A new trial

    Francesco Maresca, lawyer for the family of Meredith Kercher, talks to reporters as he arrives for the start of Amanda Knox's second appeals trial in Florence, Italy, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Italy's highest court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, overturning their acquittals in the 2007 slaying of Kercher. (Francesco Bellini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Not going back

    Amanda Knox appeared on TODAY on Sept. 20, 2013, to discuss her upcoming retrial in Florence for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox maintained that she would not go back to Italy to face trial again: "It's not a possibility, as I was imprisoned as an innocent person and I just can't relive that," she told Matt Lauer. (Peter Kramer / NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. A memoir

    Filled with details first recorded in the journals Amanda Knox kept while in Italy, "Waiting to be Heard," Knox's memoir, is set to be released on April 30, 2013. (HarperCollins via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Acquittal overturned

    Luciano Ghirga, lawyer of Amanda Knox, center, talks to journalists as he leaves Italy's Court of Cassation in Rome on March 26, 2013. Italy's highest criminal court overturned the acquittal of Amanda Knox in the slaying of her British roommate and ordered a new trial. The court ruled that an appeals court in Florence would have to re-hear the case against the American and her Italian-ex-boyfriend for the murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Home at last

    Amanda Knox makes remarks after arriving in Seattle a day after her release from prison in Italy on Oct. 4, 2011. She was acquitted of murder and sexual assault by an Italian appeals court after spending four years in custody over the killing of her British housemate, Meredith Kercher. At left is her father, Kurt Knox. (Dan Levine / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Welcome home

    Well-wishers greet Amanda Knox upon her arrival at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle a day after her release from prison in Italy on Oct. 4, 2011. (Dan Levine / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Tears of relief

    Amanda Knox cries after hearing the verdict that overturned her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court on Monday, Oct. 3. The Italian appeals court threw out Amanda Knox's murder conviction and ordered the young American freed after nearly four years in prison. (Pier Paolo Cito / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Home front

    Supporters of Amanda Knox react as they watch a news broadcast about her appeal verdict from a hotel suite in downtown Seattle on Oct. 3. (Elaine Thompson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Sisterly support

    Amanda Knox's sister Deanna Knox, center, cries tears of joy in Perugia's Court of Appeal after hearing that Amanda won her appeal against her murder conviction on Monday in Perugia, Italy. (Oli Scarff / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Closing arguments

    Amanda Knox, accused of the 2007 murder of her housemate Meredith Kercher, arrives in court as her appeal trial resumes in Perugia, on Sept. 30, 2011. Wrapping up the defense case, Knox's lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, points to alleged errors by police and urges a panel of lay and professional judges to look beyond how Knox has been portrayed by the media and the prosecution. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Hoping for her release

    Amanda Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga (left), and her father, Curt Knox (right), use their mobile phones at the court during her Sept. 30, 2011, appeal trial session in Perugia. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Her fate in the balance

    Amanda Knox arrives at the court during her appeal trial session in Perugia, Italy, on Sept. 30, 2011. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Her ex-boyfriend

    Raffaele Sollecito attends his appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on Sept. 29, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are awaiting the verdict of their appeal that could see their conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher overturned. (Oli Scarff / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. He calls her 'she-devil'

    Carlo Pacelli (center), lawyer for Patrick Lumumba, (left) -- a barman who is seeking damages from Amanda Knox as part of a civil case running alongside her murder appeal -- speaks outside the Perugia courthouse on Sept. 26, 2011. Pacelli called Knox a "she-devil" and told the appeals court she destroyed Lumumba's image by falsely accusing him of the murder, testimony that helps prosecutors attack her credibility. Knox has said she wrongly implicated Lumumba under pressure from police. . (Mario Laporta / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Legal battleground

    Through the bars of holding cells, a view of the courtroom in Perugia on Sept. 6, 2011, before the resumption of the appeal trial of Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. (Fabio Muzzi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. New 'do

    Sporting a new, short haircut, jailed Amanda Knox attends a preliminary hearing in Perugia, Italy, on June 1, 2010. (Fabrizio Troccoli / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Awaiting sentence

    Amanda Knox is driven into court at midnight to hear the sentence in her murder trial on Dec. 5, 2009, in Perugia, Italy. Knox was convicted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted of the murder charges. He was sentenced to 25 years. (Franco Origlia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Pleading her case

    Amanda Knox looks on during a break in the closing arguments of the murder trial in Perugia, Italy on Dec. 3, 2009. She read a statement during her murder trial on Dec. 3, in Italiian saying, "I am afraid of having the mask of a murderer forced onto my skin." (Max Rossi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Police escort

    Murder suspect Amanda Knox, right, is escorted by a police officer as she arrives at Perugia's court, Italy, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. Italian prosecutors have begun their closing arguments in her trial. (Alessandra Tarantino / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The murder weapon?

    Prosecutor Manuela Comodi shows a knife during a hearing in the murder trial for Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, on Sept. 19, 2009. The knife, wrapped in plastic and kept in a white box, was shown to the eight-member jury during the trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. (Stefano Medici / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Victim in video

    At the trial of Amanda Knox, a music video that included an appearance by slain student Meredith Kercher was shown June 8, 2009. Kercher played the love interest in the video for the song "Some Say" by London musician Kristian Leontiou. The 2007 video was shot only weeks before Kercher died in Perugia, Italy, at age 21. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Boning up?

    Amanda Knox holds the Italian penal code book at the trial of slain British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, on Jan. 16, 2009. (Daniele La Monaca / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Back in court

    Amanda Knox, one of three suspects in the murder of Meredith Kercher, arrives at a Sept. 27, 2008 court hearing in Perugia, Italy. Kercher, a British student, was found dead in her Perugia flat on Nov. 1, 2007 with her throat cut. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Sister speaks out

    Stephanie Kercher reads a statement during a Sept. 15, 2008 press conference in Perugia, Italy as legal proceedings connected to the death of her sister, Meredith Kercher, approach a critical phase. (Antonio Calanni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. The victim's family

    Arline, mother of Meredith Kercher, answers newsmen questions flanked by Meredith's sister Stephanie, left, and brother Lyle, during a press conference in Perugia, Italy on April 18, 2008. (Leonetto Medici / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Headed to a hearing

    Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who along with Knox and Rudy Hermann Guede was held on suspicion in the murder of Knox’s housemate Meredith Kercher, is escorted by Italian police to a January 2008 hearing with magistrates. (Paolo Tosti / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Remembering Meredith

    A floral tribute with photographs of Meredith Kercher is shown at her funeral at Croydon Parish Church, South London on December 14, 2007. (Peter MacDiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Another suspect

    In December 2007, police in Germany arrested Rudy Hermann Guede, a native of the Ivory Coast, in connection with Meredith Kercher's murder. Here Guede is shown being led away by Italian police after arriving in Rome from prison in Germany. (Riccardo De Luca / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Arrested, then released

    Patrick Lumumba Diya, a Congolese man who owned a small bar in Perugia where Amanda Knox sometimes worked as a barmaid, was arrested after being implicated in the Meredith Kercher murder by Knox. However, he was released after another suspect, Rudy Hermann Guede, was arrested in the case. He is shown here leaving police headquarters with his lawyer on Nov. 20, 2007. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Under arrest

    Her cap pulled low, American student Amanda Knox was arrested on Nov. 6, 2007, for her alleged involvement in the brutal murder of her housemate, Meredith Kercher. (Pietro Crocchioni / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Searching for clues

    Police forensics investigators examined Meredith Kercher's Italian house while a coroner conducted a post-mortem investigation on the slain student's body. (Chris Radburn / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. The murder scene

    On Nov. 5, 2007, the rented hillside home that murder victim Meredith Kercher had shared with fellow student Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy was a crime scene. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Front-page news

    By Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007 Meredith Kercher's gruesome murder was front-page news in the central Italian city of Perugia. (Chris Radburn / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. The day after

    Amanda Knox, a student from Seattle who had been living with Meredith Kercher in Perugia, was arrested Nov. 6, 2007 for her alleged involvement in Kercher’s murder. Also held by police was Knox’s Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Taken Nov. 2, the day Kercher was found dead, this picture shows the pair outside the rented house Knox shared with Kercher. (Stefano Medici / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. The murder victim

    Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British exchange student, was found dead with her throat slit on Nov. 2, 2007 in her room in an apartment she shared with other exchange students in the Italian town of Perugia. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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Timeline: Amanda Knox trial


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