Victim’s Father Slams Amanda Knox Film: ‘It’s So Awful What These Film People Have Done’

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Actress Hayden Panettiere

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Heroes star Hayden Panettiere’s portrayal of Amanda Knox in the Lifetime TV movie was bound to evoke a bit of controversy. But now the victim’s father, John Kercher, has slammed the film by expressing his outrage over the graphic trailer and promotional images showing his daughter’s last living moments.

The actress playing victim Meredith Kercher – Amanda Fernando Stevens – is seen pinned to the floor with a knife held to her throat, by actors playing the three people convicted of her killing. “It’s so awful what these film people have done. Your imagination runs riot as it is about what happened, but to actually see it like this is very different and very distressing,” said Kercher. But he was also surprised by how far the filmmakers took it: “I was told the original brief and synopsis of the film was to take it up to the point of the killing but not actually show the killing itself. It’s obvious from these pictures they are showing the killing.”

(More on TIME.com: Amanda Knox’s Appeal: A Friendlier Venue This Time?)

This isn’t the first time the film has sparked uproar. In October Panettiere requested to meet Amanda Knox before she began filming, but Knox’s lawyers denied access calling it exploitation of the American student’s story for entertainment. On Thursday Knox’s lawyer threatened legal action if the film is released.

Amanda Knox and Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are in the middle of an appeal against convictions for slashing the youngster’s throat at a student house in Perugia, Italy in 2007. Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were both convicted last year for the violent murder of Meredith Kercher. They are serving 25-year and 26-year prison sentences, respectively. 

The Lifetime film Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy premieres on Feb. 21.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 crime duos)

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