Casey Anthony has spoken publicly for the first time since she was accused of killing her toddler.
The 30-year-old broke her silence over Caylee’s death in an interview with the Associated Press. Find out more in the video above, and detailed below.
Speaking six years after she was controversially acquitted of murder and child abuse she insisted: “I’m still not even certain as I stand here today about what happened.”
In a trial that gripped the nation, Casey was branded “the most hated mom in America” but was ultimately found not guilty of murdering her child.
Casey is well aware though that much of the world still believes she killed her daughter.
“Based off what was in the media” — the story of a woman who could not account for a month in which her child was missing, whose defense involved an accidental drowning for which there was no eyewitness testimony — “I understand the reasons people feel about me. I understand why people have the opinions that they do,” she said.
But she believes she was tagged as a guilty almost from the start.
“The queen is proclaiming: ‘No, no, sentence first, verdict afterward,'” she said. “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 also said: “I don’t give a s–t about what anyone thinks about me, I never will. I’m OK with myself, I sleep pretty good at night.”
Caylee’s skeletal remains were discovered in December 2008, six months after she was reported missing.
In a very high-profile case that began May 24, the defense team proposed the theory that Caylee had drowned accidentally in Casey’s parents’ pool, and that George Anthony, Casey’s father and Caylee’s grandfather, found the body and helped dispose of it.
When asked about the drowning defense Casey said: “Everyone has their theories, 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. “
The prosecution claimed Casey dumped Caylee’s body in the woods and then resumed her life of partying. If she’d been found guilty of first-degree murder, she could have received the death penalty.
Casey dodged the murder charges but was convicted of four counts of lying to police — two of which were later dropped — and served about three years in prison while awaiting trial.
She admits she lied to cops but told AP: “Even if I would’ve told them everything that I told to the psychologist, I hate to say this but I firmly believe I would have been in the same place. Because cops believe other cops. Cops tend to victimize the victims. I understand now … I see why I was treated the way I was even had I been completely truthful.”
She added: “Cops lie to people every day. I’m just one of the unfortunate idiots who admitted they lied. My dad was a cop, you can read into that what you want to.”
Casey told the outlet how she envisages her daughter, had she still been alive today.
“Caylee would be 12 right now. And would be a total badass,” she said. “I’d like to think she’d be listening to classic rock, playing sports.”
AP reported Casey’s bedroom walls are decorated with photos of her daughter and that she cried when showing off Caylee’s artwork.
She now lives at the South Florida home of Patrick McKenna, a private detective who was leading the investigation on her defense team.
Casey works with him, helping to investigate cases and said she’d love to get her PI’s license.
“I’ve lived it firsthand,” she said. “I didn’t do what I was accused of but I fought for three years. Not just for me, but for my daughter.”
AP reports Casey spends her time outside of her work taking photos of nature and also hanging out with friends in bars.
The interview comes days after Belvin Perry Jr., the judge who presided over the murder trial, admitted Casey may have killed her daughter by accident.