News Column

Casey Anthony: 'I Did Not Kill' Caylee

June 14, 2012
Casey Anthony

Casey Anthony -- reaffirming "I did not kill my daughter" -- spoke out Tuesday for the first time since she was acquitted in her daughter's death a year ago.

Anthony spoke by telephone to CNN host Piers Morgan, who discussed the interview on his show Tuesday but did not play a recording of the 10-minute conversation. Anthony's attorney, Cheney Mason, was a guest on the program.

According to Morgan, Anthony talked of being portrayed inaccurately by the media but admitted, looking back, how "horrible" she came across in the years after 2-year-old Caylee Anthony was reported missing in 2008.

"I'm ashamed in many ways of the person that I was because even then that wasn't who I am," she said.

Anthony told Morgan she didn't trust law enforcement at the time. Mason added that Anthony's past problems contributed to that lack of trust.

"Obviously, I didn't kill my daughter," she told Morgan. "If anything, there's nothing in this world I've ever been more proud of, and there's no one I loved more than my daughter. She's my greatest accomplishment."

Related Story: "Casey Anthony Defends Her Image"

During the trial, it was revealed that Anthony went to nightclubs in the month after she knew Caylee was missing. She was later found guilty of lying to investigators after reporting the toddler's disappearance. Those convictions are under appeal.

That, and jail recordings where Anthony seemed to show no grief over Caylee's death, helped lead to public criticism since the trial.

"The caricature of me that is out there, it couldn't be further from the truth," said Anthony, who is serving probation in an unrelated check-fraud case.

"I've never been a party girl. I don't drink now. I've probably had a handful of beers since I've been on probation. ... I'm not making gazillions of dollars at the hands of other people or trying to sell myself to anyone willing to throw a couple of dollars at me."

Mason recounted a theme her defense team used during the trial, that Anthony's traumatic history was the reason she lied to law enforcement.

"Of course, when she is questioned as intensely as she was without the benefit of her constitution rights or warnings or lawyers or whatever, (investigators) just led her into Casey World," he said.

"Casey World made things up. Casey World denied things. She just closed in."

Mason said Anthony's probationary period has given her time to work on improving herself.

"She learned at the same time a lot of the world did how she grieved differently after her child disappeared," he said. "An expert explained that. Interestingly, in the courtroom when that was done, was the first time she really had an understanding of what had transpired and why she was there."

For her safety, Anthony has been in hiding during her probation, which is scheduled to end in August. Her legal issues won't be over, however. Her appeal and civil suits await.

"I'm 26 now, and I've gone through hell," Anthony said.

Source: (c)2012 the Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Fla.)

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