Amanda Knox and her parents have come under a scathing attack by John Kercher, who claims that Knox has been turned into a "minor celebrity" despite being convicted of murdering his daughter Meredith Kercher.
The outburst comes as Knox has begun an appeal of her conviction and 26 year prison sentence. The appeal has been accompanied by a series of news stories, book releases and announcements of movie productions focusing on Knox.
John Kercher writes angrily in the British tabloid paper The Daily Mail that ''Amanda Knox was found guilty of killing my daughter Meredith at the house they shared in Italy three years ago. Yet since that act of horrific violence, Knox, it seems, has been accorded the status of a minor celebrity."
''Sometimes it seems that there is no escape from her or her jaunty nickname, 'Foxy Knoxy' (doubly hurtful, for the way it trivialises the awfulness of her offence),'' he wrote.
The Knox family has said the "Foxy Knoxy" nickname came from her skill as a childhood soccer player, but tabloid media have implied it came from her attractive good looks.
Knox, now 23, is due back in court later this month when her appeal begins. Her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is also appealing his conviction.
The duo were convicted of slashing the throat of Kercher, 21, on Nov. 1, 2007, along with a third person, Ivory Coast drifter Rudy Guede. Guede was convicted in a separate trial and his sentence was reduced to 16 years on appeal.
The appeal by Knox and Sollecito and the subsequent publicity is difficult for Kercher's family to handle, the father wrote.
''Once again, I felt the pain and the anger and the raw grief resurface,'' Kercher said in his article.
"This appeal, like the initial court case, will drag on for months, while the dark tunnel between my family and our ability to grieve for Meredith in peace becomes ever longer," he states. "If Knox doesn't get the result she wants, our agony will be even more protracted: she may then take her case to Italy's Supreme Court in Rome. Put simply, our ordeal could go on for years."
Kercher also lashes out at Knox's parents. He writes that in a televised interview on one of the daily shows in Britain, the Knox family was given a platform to maintain their daughter's innocence.
''Kurt Knox and his ex-wife Edda Mellas," he writes, misspelling Curt Knox's name, "have never expressed their condolences to our family for our grievous loss. There has been no letter of sympathy; no word of regret. Instead, I have watched them repeatedly reiterate the mantra of their daughter's innocence."
The Knox family issued a statement today saying they have repeatedly said in interviews that "we cannot imagine the agony and suffering experienced by the Kercher family at the loss of their daughter, Meredith. As parents, we cannot fathom the depth of such a loss. We continue to feel the same we have always felt and expressed when asked, the deepest sorrow for the Kercher family."
"As we have said before, we have not reached out to the Kercher family because of our deep respect for their loss. We certainly did not want to add to their grief and given our belief that our daughter is wholly innocent we felt it was more respectful not to do so.
"We have always said that we would reach out to them at the appropriate time. We haven't felt the time was appropriate until, at least, Amanda's trial and appeals have come to a conclusion," the statement said.
The family added, "We offer them our most sincere sympathies and wish for peace for their family."
In the article, Meredith's father describes his daughter as '' beautiful and talented, adding that ''Meredith meant so much to us all. Our lives have, of course, moved on, but not a minute passes when she is not in our thoughts. And the question that nags insistently at us is: 'Why?' Why was she taken from us prematurely and with such horrific brutality?''
Kercher finished the article by poignantly asking this question ''all we want now is the peace to be able to celebrate her life. Is that so much to ask?''