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Psychiatrist: Casey Anthony was 'surprisingly cheerful' in jail

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Casey Anthony leaves the Orange County Jail after she was acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee Anthony on July 17, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

 

Two depositions from psychiatrists who evaluated Casey Anthony before she went on trial for murder were unsealed Wednesday, revealing more details about sexual abuse that Anthony's lawyer alleged she endured as a child and her claim that her young daughter accidentally drowned.

Anthony's defense attorney shocked the courtroom when he told jurors in his opening statement that 2-year-old Caylee, who had been missing for more than a month before her disappearance was reported to police, had drowned in the family's swimming pool in 2008. Lawyer Jose Baez also claimed Casey Anthony was sexually abused by her father, George Anthony, growing up.

George Anthony denied the allegations, which were not substantiated at trial. But in their depositions, Drs. Jeffrey Danziger and William Weitz discussed Casey's feelings toward her father as well as the most recent version of her story of what happened to her daughter.

 The Orlando Sun-Sentinel, which requested the depositions be unsealed, reported Wednesday that Weitz said Anthony felt George "was a threat to her daughter, based on what had happened to her and that would make her uncomfortable." She felt "very comfortable" leaving Caylee with her mother, she said.

Weitz said during his deposition that Anthony told him her father had sexually abused her when she was a child, "basically, the age range, from eight to 12," reported the Sun-Sentinel.

"She described physical touching. She described physical touching and involvement all the way to sexual intercourse," Weitz said.

Both Weitz and Danziger commented on what they perceived as Anthony's lack of sadness or anger when they met with her, said the Sun-Sentinel. While describing the alleged abuse, Weitz said, Anthony was "presenting it to me in a very cognitive, intellective manner stripped of almost any affect or emotion."

In Danziger's report, he described a meeting with Anthony at the Orange County Jail in July of 2008, when Caylee was still missing: "Mood, good. Reading books, keeping self distracted. Calm, bright affect. No feelings of guilt, not hopeless. Sleeping fine. Appetite okay. Weight stable. Energy okay. Concentration normal. Able to read. And I wrote in there surprisingly cheerful but not manic."

Danziger said she had "as normal a mental status examination as could be," reported Florida's CFNews13.com.

Casey told Danziger that her brother, Lee, also molested her numerous times when she was between the ages of 12 and 15, he said, according to CFNews13.com.

NBC's Mark Potter reports.

In the April 2011 deposition, Danziger told prosecutors he was "deeply troubled" by the allegations because they had not been substantiated, according to The Sun-Sentinel.

"I am very troubled about being a vector by which statements she made may accuse others of crimes past and present. I don't know what to do," Danziger said. "I am just deeply worried that I'm doing the wrong thing."

"I have lost much sleep, lost weight, and I don't know – I want to do the right thing, and I don't know what the right thing to do is except I know we're here in the deposition and my understanding is you're entitled to it, but I feel troubled," Danziger said.

Neither Danziger nor Weitz testified at Anthony's trial, although both were originally listed as defense witnesses before it started in May, said The Sun-Sentinel. The defense later withdrew them as witnesses.

As for Caylee's death, Weitz said, "It is the perception of Casey that her father had something to do with the death of her daughter. It's clear that she believes that George either harmed and/or took the life of [Caylee]."

Caylee's alleged drowning
According to The Sun-Sentinel, Weitz said Casey Anthony told him about the alleged drowning.

"[Anthony] always slept with Caylee and she was highly protective and sensitive to her," Weitz told prosecutors during his deposition, also taken in April. But on "the particular date in question…she was sleeping very hard, she awoke, the father was in the room and Caylee was missing."

"They went to search for her and look around to no avail, and then father brought Caylee to her and she was wet – in his arms. She was wet, and she appeared to be deceased. He then took her, you know, basically, and he took Caylee out of the room from her, and she said she basically lost it at that point in time."

George Anthony then told Casey, "I'll take care of her," and left with Caylee, Weitz said Casey told him.

Even as Casey Anthony described the alleged drowning death of her daughter, she seemed "detached from a lot of her feeling and emotions," he said, adding that she "uses lies as a protective measure. She admits to not always being truthful; that for her, it's a protection."

A jury found Anthony not guilty in the death of Caylee. She was released from jail on July 17; she is currently serving a year of probation in an unrelated check fraud case.