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Casey Anthony leaves with her attorney Jose Baez from the Booking and Release Center at the Orange County Jail after she was acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee Anthony on July 17, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images)

Tragedy revisited

Defiant Casey Anthony breaks long silence, says ‘I sleep pretty good at night’

March 7, 2017

In 2011, Casey Anthony was acquitted of the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, who was found dead in 2008. Since a Florida jury cleared her of murder charges in the case, Anthony has never spoken out about the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s death and has largely lived her life in seclusion, emerging only to appear in court for bankruptcy hearings. Anthony has now spoken out in a series of exclusive interviews with The Associated Press, speculating on what her daughter’s life would look like now had she not died in 2008, and musing about why she became known as “the most hated mom in America.”

“Caylee would be 12 right now,” Anthony told the AP. “And would be a total badass. I’d like to think she’d be listening to classic rock, playing sports.” Anthony, now 30, maintains her innocence and says she too is still mystified at how Caylee died. “I’m still not even certain as I stand here today about what happened,” she said.

Talking about her portrayal in the media and the circus-like atmosphere that engulfed her trial, Anthony said, “The queen is proclaiming: ‘No, no, sentence first, verdict afterward,'” she said, likening herself to the title character from Alice in Wonderland. “I sense and feel to this day that is a direct parallel to what I lived. My sentence was doled out long before there was a verdict. Sentence first, verdict afterward. People found me guilty long before I had my day in court.” She blames that perception, in part, on the press. “Based off what was in the media, I understand the reasons people feel about me. I understand why people have the opinions that they do.” She also blames herself for that perception, admitting that misleading the police during the investigation destroyed her credibility. “Cops lie to people every day. I’m just one of the unfortunate idiots who admitted they lied.”

Nearly as interesting as what Anthony had to say about her ordeal over the last decade is how the unlikely interview even came together. An AP reporter met Anthony among among a group of demonstrators protesting Donald Trump in Palm Beach. Anthony revealed she now lives with and works for a private detective, Patrick McKenna, who was the lead investigator for her defense team. Years earlier, McKenna was the lead investigator for another high-profile murder suspect who was acquitted: O.J. Simpson. After agreeing to do a number of interviews, Anthony then tried to call the story off, saying that the bankruptcy case she’s been embroiled in since 2013 and a nondisclosure agreement with her employer prohibit her from speaking out.

“I don’t give a shit about what anyone thinks about me, I never will,” a defiant Anthony said. “I’m OK with myself, I sleep pretty good at night.”

The series of interviews were wide-ranging and touched on her rocky relationship with her parents, who at one point accepted $600,000 to make an appearance on The Dr. Phil Show, and her attempts at dating and trying to find love as she puts the murder trial and its attendant complications behind her. In the video below, listen to audio clips from the interviews and see new photos shot by the AP.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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