Casey Anthony, the mother who was acquitted of murdering her toddler daughter Caylee in 2011, was forced out of seclusion to appear in federal bankruptcy court in Tampa, Fla. NBC's Chris Clackum reports.
Casey Anthony emerged from almost two years in hiding Monday — shielding her face from reporters and hustled by her lawyer through a swarm of cameras as she walked into a Florida courthouse for a bankruptcy hearing.
It was her first public appearance since July 2011, when she was found not guilty of murdering her daughter, Caylee.
She said in court that she has $484 cash to her name and has no job or car, NBC affiliate WESH in Orlando reported.
“I don’t pay rent. I don’t pay utilities. I live off the kindness of those I’m living with. I try to contribute when I can,” Anthony said, according to WESH.
She filed for bankruptcy in January, claiming $1,000 in assets and almost $800,000 in debt, including $500,000 owed to a former lawyer, WESH reported.
Anthony appeared in a YouTube video last year with short, blonde hair but appeared Monday to have returned to the brown hair she had during her trial.
On the short walk from a car to the courthouse, she was holding a floppy hat and wearing sunglasses. She kept her head down and was shielded in a near-headlock by her lawyer, who guided her through the crush of reporters.
Her lawyer Charles Greene said in January that Anthony filed for bankruptcy to stop people from coming after her with lawsuits.
Brian Blanco / AP
Casey Anthony leaves the federal courthouse in Tampa, with a U.S. Marshal after a bankruptcy hearing Monday, March 4, 2013. Anthony, 26, has not made any public appearances since she left jail after being acquitted in the murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee. She filed for bankruptcy in Florida in late January, claiming about $1,000 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities. Court papers list Anthony as unemployed, with no recent income. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
“She wants people to just leave her alone,” Greene said. “She’s had multiple opportunities to do tell-all book deals, to do tell-all interviews for a lot of money. That’s not what she’s trying to do. She wants this over so she can finally have the time to mourn, not only about the loss of her daughter, but the loss of her life.”
Anthony’s trial was among the most sensational of the Internet and cable-news eras — televised live, followed by millions of people and dissected night after night by pundits. She was cleared of murder, manslaughter and child-abuse charges.
She was convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators who were looking into Caylee’s disappearance in 2008. She got a four-year sentence, but counting time served and good behavior she was released less than two weeks after the conviction.