News Column

Casey Anthony Lawyers Ask Bankruptcy Judge to Block Sale of Her Life Story

April 7, 2013

Casey Anthony's bankruptcy lawyers filed paperwork Thursday opposing a Chapter 7 trustee's request to sell her life's story, calling it an "unprecedented invasion" of her "private thoughts and First Amendment rights."

Bankruptcy trustee Stephen Meininger filed a motion last month asking U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May for permission to sell "the exclusive worldwide rights in perpetuity to the commercialization of Anthony's life story."

Meininger argues Anthony's story is property, an asset like any other that has value and could be sold to pay her numerous creditors. But Anthony's legal team disagrees: Her story "exists solely within [Anthony's] mind."

"This is a terrifying Orwellian prospect that would destroy the long-standing protections guaranteed by the Bankruptcy Code and... the United States Constitution," and "create an administrative nightmare," her lawyers say.

The Anthony team quotes Meininger's motion, which suggests that even Anthony's childhood memories could be sold. Granting it, her lawyers say, would keep Anthony from getting a "fresh start," which is the purpose of bankruptcy.

"There is not a single, private thought or memory that Ms. Anthony ever had -- from the time she was born through the time she filed her petition -- that is not included within the 'property' [Meininger] seeks to sell," Anthony's lawyers say.

The Anthony lawyers' filing asks May to deny Meininger's motion. A hearing is currently set for next week.

The trustee's motion revealed at least one person, seeking to ensure the acquitted murder defendant couldn't profit off it later, had already bid on Anthony's story. If the motion is granted, the sale funds would go to repay her creditors.

Meininger's interest in liquidating Anthony's story as an asset was apparent at a recent creditors meeting in Tampa. The trustee repeatedly questioned Anthony about whether she had received offers or signed a deal to sell her story.

She said she had not. Anthony's bankruptcy filing did not list her story as an asset, but many have speculated since her trial that it is likely the only one she has. Rumors of a book, movie or paid interview have been rampant.

Anthony says she has been unemployed since her acquittal in her daughter's death in 2011. She has been living off the charity of friends and her lawyers, she said at the creditors meeting in Tampa.

Anthony filed for bankruptcy in January, listing more than $792,000 in debt. Her largest creditor is her criminal attorney Jose Baez, whom she owes $500,000, according to her paperwork. She declared less than $1,100 in assets.

jeweiner@tribune.com or 407-420-5171

___

(c)2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services





Source: Copyright Orlando Sentinel 2013


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters