'Proven Innocent': Fox's upcoming legal drama echoes the infamous case of Amanda Knox
The upcoming legal drama revolves around Madeline Scott, a lawyer defending the wrongfully convicted, herself falsely imprisoned for the murder of her best friend Rosemary Lynch
The production of Fox's highly anticipated drama 'Proven Innocent,' may have been suspended because of extreme weather conditions at its filming location in Chicago, but the show is slated to premiere February 15 and will highly reminisce one of the most controversial cases Americans are aware of - the case of Amanda Knox.
'Proven Innocent,' as the title suggests, is about a woman who was proven innocent after being wrongfully convicted for murder when she was 18. The woman named Madeline Scott (played Rachelle Lefevre), goes on to become a lawyer 10 years after she was proven innocent, and is driven to fight for the innocents who are wrongly convicted by corrupt lawyers, especially Gore Bellows (played by Kelsey Grammer), the prosecutor who put Madeline in jail.
While the show promises entertainment with new interesting cases every episode, besides juggling with Madeline's own storyline of whodunit, the show echoes or perhaps imagines what it could have been like if Amanda Knox had become a lawyer.
Madeline is a fierce and unapologetic lawyer determined to go against the man who put her behind bars - Bellows, who shot to fame after the trial, and still believes she is guilty. Years ago, Madeline was accused for the murder of her best friend Rosemary Lynch. Madeline and her brother, Levi Scott, was found guilty and sentenced to jail, and after serving years in prison, she was found not guilty of the crime.
The high-profile murder case garnered massive media attention and Madeline was nicknamed an "all American psycho" among other things. When she was proven innocent, she became a hero to many, while still branded a "monster" to many who did not believe her.
The reason why the plot sounds familiar is because it closely sounds like Amanda Knox's trial case; a then-20-year-old American woman, nicknamed 'Foxy Knoxy' by the tabloids, spent almost four years in an Italian prison following her conviction for the 2007 murder of British exchange student, Meredith Kercher.
In 2015, Knox was definitively acquitted by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation, where the report on her acquittal pointed out that the original murder conviction failed to prove a "whole truth" to back up the scenario that Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito killed Kercher. They also stated that there were "sensational failures" in the investigation and that the lower court had been guilty of "culpable omissions" in ignoring expert testimony that demonstrated contamination of evidence.
In Amanda Knox's Netflix documentary, we meet Giuliano Mignini, who led the investigation of the murder of Meredith Kercher, initially putting Knox and Sollecito behind bars for the murder. We hear him conclude that if they are innocent, they will hopefully forget the suffering they have endured, and if not, "if earthly justice did not get to them, I hope they own their guilt."
The part of the press in Knox's cases definitely played a huge role to turn the murder story into a global sensation. Former Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa appears on the Netflix documentary and blatantly admits to sensationalizing the story into a "sex game gone wrong," and a chase to get the story out first without fact-checking.
His unapologetic and insensitive comments about the case, referring to the botched investigations of Meredith Kercher as "Manna from heaven," and his name on the front pages feeling like "sex," outraged many. Knox's personal diary was also leaked by Pisa and she was portrayed by the international media as a spoilt American brat indulging in sex and drugs. In 'Proven Innocent' Madeline Scott's reputation as a wild party girl also added to the sensation of her friend's brutal murder.
However, it would be incorrect to state the show is entirely based off Amanda Knox's case, it is more like an embellished version of what happened and what could have happened. In 2018, speaking to TCA, 'Proven Innocent' and 'Empire' co-creator Danny Strong replied to a reporter when asked if the show was about Amanda Knox. It is a "very fictionalized version of her story, obviously," Strong revealed.