Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lifetime’s Misleading Portrayal Of Knox HIV Leak: One Of Many Dishonest Knox-Team Leaks

Posted by Michael

Above and below: images from the two misleading scenes

1. Movie Advances HIV & Sex Partners List Hoax

The Lifetime movie nicely depicted Meredith and Dr Mignini, and was not tough on Knox, though it seemed to leave many viewers sensing the possibility of guilt.

However, there were several seriously wrong scenes in the Lifetime movie, and also in the associated Lifetime documentary. Two scenes advanced the HIV-test and sex-partners-list hoax.

    1. In a first long and emotional scene, the film depicted Amanda Knox being told by the doctor at Capanne that in a routine test she tested positive for HIV. It implied the test was a form of pressure. It showed Knox being told she should write down a list of her previous partners.

    2. In a second long and emotional scene, the film depicted a confrontation between an angry Amanda and the doctor when he told her she was all clear. And thereafter depicted that it was the the prosecution that leaked the sex partners list.

These implied criminal actions on the part of both the Capanne Prison medical staff and the prosecutors, and aroused a lot of false sympathy for Knox.

2. The Hard Facts About Knox’s HIV Testing

1. Lifetime V Reality: Knox Had Herpes When She Was Tested

Lifetime simply depicted Amanda Knox being told by the doctor at Capanne that she tested positive for HIV. It implied the test was unusual.

In fact, on her admittance to Capanne Prison, Knox was simply routinely tested for HIV and some other possible conditions, as all prisoners are, for their own good.

Knox had herpes at the time, visible on her lip in many photographs, and herpes can result in a false positive result for HIV.

2. Lifetime V Reality: Proof Knox Warned Positive Test Maybe False

Lifetime did not depict Knox being warned about false positives. But Knox’s diary reads:

Last night before I went to bed I was taken down to see yet another doctor who I haven’t yet met before. He had my results from a test they took which says I’m positive for HIV.

First of all the guy told me not to worry, it could be a mistake, they’re going to take a second test next week….

3. Lifetime V Reality: Knox Herself Creates Sex Partners List

Lifetime claimed Amanda Knox was told to write down her list of partners by the doctor.

But in Amanda Knox’s own words, you can read how it went down: She chose herself to create the sex partners list. The doctor never instructed Amanda to write out that list. Her diary reads:

Thirdly, I don’t know where I could have got HIV from. Here is the list of people I’ve had sex with in Italy [strike Italy] general:...

4. Lifetime V Reality: There Was No Angry Confrontation

Lifetime depicts a yelling, pointing Knox, who has to be restrained.

The doctor merely conveyed the news of a negative results and Knox cheerfully went off. He had no ill intent, she did not get angry, and no accusations were made.

3. The Hard Facts About Who Leaked The Results & List

Lifetime implied that Knox’s diary with the list of partners was leaked by the prosecutors to the public.

We know this to be false. We know that it was instead Amanda Knox’s own lawyers that leaked the diary with the sex partners list (to journalists like Barbie Nadeau). And that the family effort leaked it to people like Frank Sforza (who duly published Amanda’s diary page on the previous sexual partners), and Candace Dempsey, and even tried to leak it to us!

Amanda’s lawyers leak like sieves, always have, and they’ve rarely, if ever, asked Amanda permission to do so. It isn’t actually required, since she’s already given them permission to act on her behalf. In a way, it’s a bit like electing a politician. Once you’ve elected them, they don’t have to come back to you (the electorate) for permission every time they want to pass a bill, create a new policy or enter into negotiations.

When we had our own reporter (Stewart Home) attending the trial, the defence happily showed him anything in the case file he asked to see. In fact, many times they offered without his having to even ask.

In addition, Amanda’s family have been doing quite a lot of ‘leaking’ themselves. Frank Sforza and Candace Dempsey got most of their data from them, as did Charlie Wilkes, Mark Waterbury and Bruce Fischer. And this leaking by the family started long before the trial.

It needs to also be pointed out, Sollecito’s family and lawyers have also been doing their share of leaking.

However, the Knox family and their followers have been only too happy to publicly blame all this leaking on Italian law enforcement (ILE) and cite this as another injustice against their daughter. The US media have been only too happy to carry these accusations, without question. This is how the ILE have been framed and it stinks.

4. Relevant Misleading Scenes In The Lifetime Film

Top and below: the first partly imaginary scene

Above and below: the first partly imaginary scene

Below: the second very misleading scene

Below: the second very misleading scene

5. Bottom Line: One Of Many Knox-Team Hoaxes

Amanda’ Knoxs family know the truth of this, but have not yet come out and corrected a seriously wrong pervasive impression.

And Lifetime repeated the lie of the sex partners list, leading millions to believe the ILE deliberately terrified, tricked and humiliated Amanda Knox.


I know Amanda is not normal and that diaries are a personal thing but do girls normally make a list of their sexual conquests just because they might be HIV?

I am merely suggesting here that the good doctor might well have added that if the test was confirmed then anyone she had sex with ought to be contacted so that they could be informed and tested as well.

I believe that most doctors would mention this as a matter of routine.

I think it is called contact tracing and obviously requires consent and cooperation within strict clinical guidelines.

Amanda might also have wanted to know who had infected her.

Posted by James Raper on 03/03/11 at 02:12 AM | #

“Just because?”  I have no sympathy with Amanda at all in regards to her crimes, but I imagine if I were told I was HIV, I would be avidly going through the list of suspects in my head, if not writing them down (maybe you write them down if you have too many!).

This is one thing I can’t see analyzing.  Thinking you might have been infected with a horrible terminal disease would be extremely upsetting to anyone.

Posted by NCKat on 03/03/11 at 02:22 AM | #

Hi James. I think it’s less the existence of a list than why it was created and who leaked it for what purpose. It could very well have been innocently created in the way NCKat describes, and AK clearly had much on her mind, and the list might very well have helped.

But the movie and much other recent commentary have implied that it was created on demand by the doctor so that it could be leaked by the prosecutors to damage AK’s image. Those are pretty stark scenes in the movie and “Amanda” reacts as if she has been tricked.

But there is no sign that the doctor or prosecutors tricked her and had the Knox effort not released it, none of this medical information would have become public. I doubt Amanda okayed it to go public and the doctor and prosecutors had no suspect role..

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/03/11 at 02:30 AM | #

Thanks Michael! I see you decided to take action after reading my post and it is much appreciated. Hopefully, now the curious who have found this site after seeing the movie will see just how much they were lied to through the movie’s depiction of events regarding AK’s HIV scare.

Ironically, Lifetime turns out to be the one using underhanded trickery to sway public opinion, not unlike the “trickery” implied which was supposedly used on AK.

Posted by Kazwell on 03/03/11 at 03:14 AM | #

Hi Kazwell. Yeah you started all this! Just as well that you did because it’s now all out in the open.

It is hard to see the leaking of the diary as anything but malicious. Lifetime used the shorthand of AK beating up on the doctor to indicate that the authorities were the ones malicious.

This has already misled millions of viewers.  Those scenes should really be edited out and replaced with more truthful material.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/03/11 at 03:30 AM | #

It will be interesting to know if this scene will be deleted before airing in Italy. Based on the evidence presented on this site, it is clear that Capanne Prison medical staff and the prosecutors have every right to sue the producers of both the movie and documentary over this slanderous falsehood.

Posted by Kazwell on 03/03/11 at 06:48 AM | #

I knew I would most probably be starting a bit of a fire by my initial post under an Andrea Vogt topic, but I am glad I did. This “HIV Scare” issue did need “to be brought out” since it shed insight into just how much the FOA camp played into the producer’s mindset as to how they were going to somehow haphazardly leave things “up to the viewer”.

If they had to completely lie to add to the defense’s side of the argument (which was one of the big plays as far as that side was concerned in the movie) then they must have to be aware that AK is guilty.

If they weren’t aware they were lying then shame on them for not researching more - although with all the lawyers involved, I think they knew better but attempted to insinuate more than anything else to avoid a lawsuit. Another example of the FOA propaganda machine backfiring as the presented (true) facts are clearly undeniable.

Posted by Kazwell on 03/03/11 at 08:32 AM | #

Just to be clear about it, I wasn’t suggesting anything but an innocent explanation for the list. The rest of Michael’s post was most interesting.

Yep, her solicitors are natural repositories for her personal documents from prison. No, they wouldn’t release copies or any information from the diary without Amanda’s express consent. No, I can’t see Amanda giving that permission other than on advice from, or more likely on direct instructions from, her parents who in turn would be prompted by Marriott.

Indeed her lawyers wouldn’t even have had to seek permission unless a request for them had originally come in from somewhere and no, that wouldn’t have been Amanda. Nor would her solicitors have come up with and suggested the idea.

Clearly Marriott would have needed to see the diary to see what could be spun out of it which, of course, included the smears that emerged. Marriott would also have had to ensure that the “leak” wasn’t seen to emanate from the Knox camp.

Amanda’s solicitors could be relied on not to comment on whatever instructions they received because of their duty of confidence. Like money laundering. So thoroughly underhand and despicable.

I think the tension between the legal defence and the PR effort began right here.

Posted by James Raper on 03/03/11 at 11:55 AM | #

Kazwell Wrote:  “Lifetime turns out to be the one using underhanded trickery to sway public opinion, not unlike the “trickery” implied which was supposedly used on AK.”

Personally, I don’t think the motive for LifeTime creating that scene was ‘trickery’.  I think they merely saw an opportunity to inject some drama and that’s the staple of their channel’s target audience.  They weren’t going let something like the ‘truth’ get in the way of that opportunity.

Posted by Michael on 03/03/11 at 02:01 PM | #

What a fantastic job you guys are doing shedding a dispassionate and thorough light on this appalling sequence of events. No one has tricked Amanda Knox, she is extremely guilty; and with the PR campaign that her parents are staging it’s a good thing that this blog is considering even the more ‘minor’ elements of her guilt to discover the truth. It’s what Meredith deserves, may she rest in peace.

Everyday the lies of the horrific Knox campaign grow and become more degenerate in their profilic output to attempt to obfuscate their daughter’s undeniable guilt. (Let’s also not forget how Amanda Knox attempted to destroy Patrick Lumumba as well and would have so easily sent an innocent black man to the gallows which in her own country would have been VERY easy for her to do)

The Italian justice system is a shining example of lawful democracy, and having read the excellent Massei Report, I fully believe Italy is one of the fairest and most civil countries in Europe.

I have no doubt that Amanda Knox and her evil friends are GUILTY and deserve everything they get for what they did to Meredith Kercher.

Posted by proud-american on 03/03/11 at 02:16 PM | #


The point about acting in general is well made. But the diary I think falls into a different category. All I know is that I would not have released this (nor would it have occurred to me to do this) without express authorization, if just to cover my back.

I also think in any event that from this point on they had or realised they had carte blanche permission to do whatever Amanda’s parents would want them to do, or told them to do, in addition to acting in general.

Personally, were I in Amanda’s shoes I would have wanted to control as much as possible the information my lawyers gave out and keep them accountable to me, but then I am not a guilty immature airhead with a “mummy’s here and knows best” attitude.

Yes the scene in the film was pure scripted drama, wasn’t it? But the almost uncontrollable flash of temper from Amanda had a few people wondering I guess. In a way I think that was the point of it.

What does ILE stand for?

Posted by James Raper on 03/03/11 at 03:33 PM | #

Great new points, Michael, on the leaks and illicit underhand flow of information.

The ready leaking of the images showing Meredith’s wounds so they could be compared with the large knife (which were then posted on several blogs) seems to me just as serious as the leaking of a video that the Sollecitos are on trial for right now.

In reading you one has to bear in mind the endemic cashflow implications. It is unlikely any of those did what they did just for love. The Knox effort and the FOA were and still are in the game of fundraising and apparently still run six events in West Seattle each year and in that context the more outrage generated the better.

Frank Sfarzo had a Paypal icon for contributions on his site and seemed to be trying to engineer a new career. (He still wont use his real name though.)

And Dempsey and Fisher are both frenetically peddling highly biased books with info leaked to them as you describe.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/03/11 at 05:06 PM | #

What does ILE stand for?

Italian Law Enforcement? ( Ik zeg ook maar wat )

Posted by Helder Licht on 03/03/11 at 05:15 PM | #


Let’s just say, the Italian lawyers work differently. They do not feel the need to run to their client each time they wish to release something. They have their own rules. It may of course be that they did ask Amanda if they could filter it out to different elements of the press, but I doubt it.

Amanda doesn’t try and retain control. Her family on the other hand, do. The reality is, Amanda has placed her fate fully into the hands of her lawyers and family.

It wasn’t just the film, it was the Lifetime documentary afterwards. It implied that Amanda had been deliberately lied to about her HIV status and then the ILE leaked her diary to the press. That’s the story Amanda’s family have been trying to sell for over two years now.

ILE can = Italian Law Enforcement, but in the context of this case it means Italian Legal Executive, as that includes the prosecution (including their appointed experts) and judiciary, as well as law enforcement.

Posted by Michael on 03/03/11 at 08:48 PM | #

Thanks to Michael, Peter, and James for the clarifications about the HIV test scene in the Lifetime movie.  I wasn’t expecting Masterpiece Theater and, as it claims to be only “based on a true story,” the film is entitled to some artistic license.  But after deciding to see it, I was shocked at that scene with Amanda Knox obviously being manipulated about her test results and asked to list her sex partners.  So, I’m relieved to know it never happened that way in reality.  The Lifetime people took way too much liberty there.

I also wondered if the medical examiner could ever really have told Mignini that Meredith’s injuries indicated either rape or rough consensual sex.  In another comment, I cited a section of the Massei report stating that her vaginal injuries were clearly not the result of a willing participation on Meredith’s part.  She obviously never invited Rudy Guede to her room.  Lifetime should have been much more sensitive about that issue.

Another scene that I found troublesome was the interrogation of Amanda after she accompanied Raffaele to the police station and did her cartwheels.  I find it hard to believe that the police screamed at her and badgered her that way or that the female investigator told her, “Use your imagination; think about what could have happened,” prompting her in essence to invent something about Patrick Lumumba.  I can’t recall if Amanda herself claimed that they had used that phrase or something similar.  That scene also seems to suggest that Amanda was interrogated for hours as she cries out that she hasn’t eaten or slept and pleads to be allowed to go home.

Although showing her drug use, the film in general seems way too soft on Amanda.  In the scene where Meredith is upset that she doesn’t clean up the bathroom, Amanda is apologetic and conciliatory, which doesn’t seem to reflect what actually happened.  Even where they show her jealous of Meredith when Patrick wants to have her tend bar, it’s just presented as a trivial moment rather than part of a pattern of narcissistic behavior. 

Hayden Panetierre seems best (i.e., most realistic about Amanda) when she shows a snotty belligerence at some of the questions asked in interrogations and in court.  But in my opinion, she falls flat in her final appeal to the jury.  It seemed like poetic justice, however, that in attempting to convey a convincing claim of innocence by Amanda, the actress couldn’t rise to the occasion.

The depiction of Raffaele is much better.  He comes across as a weakling basically under Amanda’s spell.  I found the scene where he is interviewed by the police about using drugs and carrying knives and then about the timing of his 112 call a high point.  One of the best lines in the film is the interrogator’s response to Sollecito’s claim that he had collected knives for a long time as a hobby: “What, like lying?”  The two male and female investigators were both good in their roles (apart from the issue of any distortions in the facts of the case).

But what really kept me watching the film was Mignini.  He conducts the investigation in a crisp, rational manner, not in a rush to judgment (as was suggested in the documentary).  I found him especially effective in the scene where he asks: “What kind of killer returns to the crime scene, cleans up, stages a break-in, and moves the body?” and where he leads Amanda to the kitchen to show her the knife drawer.  The actor is very good throughout, giving the impression that he really cares about getting justice for Meredith.  As Mignini, he seems to get in most of the salient points against Knox and Sollecito.

The film is certainly problematic, with some distortions of the facts in really poor taste.  But people watching it would learn a lot more about the case than they certainly have been able to from the news media.

Posted by Tullia on 03/04/11 at 02:55 AM | #

Hi Tullia,

I very much agree with your last sentence and indeed most of what you say.

Artistic licence is a matter for the film makers but here are a few further quibbles and observations:-

1. When questioned about his knife hobby Sollecito was asked whether he carried a knife as a matter of routine and amazingly and somewhat sheepishly he actually produced a flicknife to show the police officer. This was left out of the film.

2. Mignini said, at some point, that bleach had been used to clean away traces at the cottage. I doubt that this is a matter of record and if it is it must have been a slip of the tongue as no-one smelt bleach at the cottage whereas they did at Sollecito’s flat.

3. When Mignini takes Amanda back to the cottage he lets slip to her that the police think that the signs of a break in are staged. Amanda looks pensive. Then Amanda is shown the knife drawer and she has her fit. Of the two events we know for a fact that the latter happened but not the former. I guess that what is being suggested by the linkage here, with dramatic effect, is AK’s repressed memory being prised open by the double whammy.

4. I suppose the cottage they used was the best they could come up with. Not bad actually except that perhaps this made it difficult to make the obvious point about the virtual impossibility of scaling the outside wall to access Filomena’s bedroom window.

5. The film shows Amanda being momentarily closer to Meredith’s bedroom door, after it was broken open, than I think witness statements suggest she ever was.

6. In cross examining Amanda on her false claim re Lumumba Mignini asks “Do you normally imagine things that you have had no experience of?” I don’t know whether he actually said this but it was telling. So telling that her lawyer shouts “Objection!”. It is not so much that an italian lawyer would or would not object but it is the manner of delivery that I suspect is out of place in an italian courtroom and perhaps this bit of acting was inserted to make an american audience feel at home.

7. The scene of Meredith in spasms on the floor with her throat cut and blood pouring everywhere was truly ghastly. We do not know what the discarded scenes were actually like but perhaps they might have been more tolerable than what we did see.

8. There was something about the music at the beginning (I am trying to recall it) that struck me at the time as a bit odd. Inconsequential and possibly even lighthearted as if it belonged to a romantic comedy? At any rate I wondered for a moment if I had got the right download.

I am sure that there will be other observations. I have not yet viewed the documentary which is next on my list.

Posted by James Raper on 03/04/11 at 12:54 PM | #

Excellent takes. We will be posting a roundup review of the movie and documentary incorporating all of these perceptive comments by Tullia and James and others posted and emailed to us next week.

If anyone else would like to make a contribution to reviewing the movie and documentary and have not yet seen them please do email to let us know.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/04/11 at 02:56 PM | #

I tried to comment on this a few days ago but I couldn’t log in and lost my comment.

I would just like to add that while it may be upsetting to hear that one might have a fatal disease we need to keep it in perspective.

1. Medical science is not perfect and the people who practice it are not either. As an example, I was once told over the phone, while I was at work, that I had a pre-cancerous growth. I burst into tears. The doctor who chose to share this information with me, in this manner, was not my doctor, and as it turns out, she had greatly exaggerated the diagnosis. While this was callous and unprofessional, I learned the truth and quickly got over it.

2. Amanda Knox is in prison for a brutal and sadistic murder so I don’t think I’m really going to lose much sleep over whether her incorrect diagnosis was intentional or simply a matter of a false positive.

Posted by bedelia on 03/04/11 at 05:21 PM | #

Perspective, yes. Important word because the contrast of the film to one’s own perspective leads to critique, review, evaluation.

I spoke recently to an old gal who’s very smart, reads a lot, good family. She knew nothing of the film & when I told her of it, she replied immediately, “I wouldn’t watch it.” And she criticized the timing. Clearly, a defensible viewpoint.

[PS So Helder Licht’s a Dutchman! Good to have his perspectives.]

Posted by Ernest Werner on 03/04/11 at 06:51 PM | #

“So Helder Licht’s a Dutchman! Good to have his perspectives.”

Agreed. About half of our readers and commenters are in Europe, with the top five countries being the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. Helder and Ernest are both really helpful - and good fun - in the emails.

Several are in Russia and Asia and several more in Australia. Posters Catnips and Tiziano are in Australia - no secret as they have mentioned that on PMF.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/04/11 at 07:46 PM | #

The muddled and ill-informed Lisa Marie Basile in the Huffington Post hangs a lot on her total misrepresentation of the HIV and sex partners list correctly depicted by Michael here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/08/14 at 02:17 PM | #
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Where next:

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Or to next entry The DEFENSE Not Italian Officials Leaked About Knox HIV Test In Capanne DRAFT

Or to previous entry Andrea Vogt: Supreme Court Report Highlights Amanda Knox Mention To Mom She Was There