SEATTLE - Renee Perrault of Renton says she'll never forget the day a friend called about the arrest of Amanda Knox in Italy.
“She said, ‘Have you heard about the Amanda Knox case?’ I said ‘Yeah I have. It’s horrible. And she said, ‘Think about it, Amanda Knox.’ I’ll never forget that moment of how stunned I was that it was Curt’s daughter,” Perrault said.
Perrault, a retired retail executive, worked with Curt Knox years ago at the Bon Marche and helped throw a baby shower when Curt and his wife were expecting Amanda. Now, 22 later, Perrault’s organizing another event - this one at the Comedy Underground in Seattle - to help free Amanda from prison.
The family has reached the brink of financial ruin paying for Knox’s legal expenses and traveling to Italy to visit her since she was arrested in November 2007. Knox was convicted last month and sentenced to 26 years in prison.
After she retired, Perrault became an amateur comedienne who often performs at charity fundraisers. She believes that Amanda was wrongly convicted for the murder of her British housemate, Meredith Kercher, and says she wanted to use her talent and her friendship with other stand-up comics to help raise money for Knox’s upcoming appeal.
But her venue is drawing some criticism.
“People are saying, they’re writing it, those anonymous bloggers, they’re saying how horrible we are for laughing. And it's not laughing at that event. No one would ever laugh at that. It's a tragedy beyond measurement. But there's another tragedy going on, what's happening to Amanda,” Perrault said.
Perrault says there won't be any jokes about the Knox case or Italy at the fundraiser Wednesday night.
For the fundraiser Wednesday night, Perrault’s lined up some heavyweights on the Northwest comedy circuit. She and other organizers are hoping for a line stretching around the block because if the show sells out, it could bring in close to $10,000 for the Amanda Knox appeal fund. Tickets are $50 each.
For more information on the fundraiser, click here.