The death of two-year-old Caylee Anthony, the investigation into her murder and the subsequent trial of her mother who was 22 when the remains of her daughter were discovered inside a trash bag in a wooded area near the family’s home in Orlando, Florida, was one of the saddest and strangest sagas in recent American history. Casey Anthony, who stood by her claim that she didn’t kill her daughter even while her story changed several times, and was faced with the death penalty if found guilty of the murder, was eventually cleared by the jury in one of the most contested verdicts in recent memory.
Anthony, now 30, has tried to stay out of the public eye since the trial. But from a 2013 Lifetime movie starring Rob Lowe, Prosecuting Casey Anthony, to internet sleuths trying to crack the case, it’s obvious there is plenty of interest in finding out exactly what happened, or at least hear her take on the events that led to her trial and what she’s been doing since being granted her freedom.
Now, in an interview with the Associated Press, the first time she’s talked to a media outlet since the trial, Anthony opens up about her life and what she feels people get wrong about her. The answers she gave are described as, “often contradictory,” much like the stories she told about what happened to her daughter. At one point, she compares herself to Alice in Wonderland, the public as the Red Queen. “The queen is proclaiming: ‘No, no, sentence first, verdict afterward,'” she says. “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.”
About the public speculation as to what, exactly, happened, Anthony admitted, “Everyone has their theories,” she said. “I don’t know. As I stand here today I can’t tell you one way or another. The last time I saw my daughter I believed she was alive and was going to be OK, and that’s what was told to me.”
Anthony also admitted that, “Based off what was in the media,” that she understands “the reasons people feel about me. I understand why people have the opinions that they do.” Yet she remains defiant: “I don’t give a shit about what anyone thinks about me, I never will,” she says. “I’m OK with myself, I sleep pretty good at night.”
In one of the stranger parts of the interview, Anthony reflects on what her daughter’s life would look like today if she was alive. “Caylee would be 12 right now. And would be a total badass,” she said in what is described as one of a series of exclusive interviews. “I’d like to think she’d be listening to classic rock, playing sports” and putting up with no nonsense.”