ORLANDO, Fla. — Attorneys spent more than two hours last month asking Casey Anthony many of the lingering questions about the lies she told following her daughter Caylee’s 2008 disappearance and the circumstances of the girl’s death.
The result: Anthony’s most expansive publicly available comments since she was acquitted of murder in 2011.
A transcript of the Jan. 23 deposition was filed in federal court Tuesday. It revealed often-combative exchanges between Anthony and attorneys for Zenaida Gonzalez, the woman suing her for defamation.
Anthony refused to answer many questions, prompting Gonzalez’s lawyers to ask a judge to compel her replies. A hearing on that motion is set for next week.
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In the deposition, Anthony claimed that Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the nanny she claimed had kidnapped her daughter, was a real person — someone she’d last seen in 2007 and who had baby-sat Caylee just once.
“I met her at Universal Studios in 2006 … through a mutual friend,” Anthony says, adding: “We were friends a little over a year.”
That woman didn’t actually kidnap Caylee, she said. Neither did the woman suing her for defamation: “I completely agree,” she said.
Keith Mitnik, an attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez, expressed skepticism of Anthony’s claim that the nanny, who Anthony’s defense attorney Jose Baez acknowledged was fictional at trial, was a real person.
“Now, is there any way in the world that you could suggest to me that I might find this person to see if she ever existed?” Mitnik asked Anthony. Anthony replied: “I don’t know if you could or not, sir.”
Mitnik reminded Anthony that Baez’s said at trial that she had difficulty telling the truth: “Do you have a significant problem with not telling the truth?”
“No, sir, I do not,” Anthony replied. She rejected the theory that “Zanny” was a code word for the prescription drug Xanax.
“I have never taken Xanax, I have never seen Xanax and I did not give Xanax or anything else to my child,” Anthony said.
Anthony said it was an “interesting coincidence” that the Gonzalez currently suing her had filled out paperwork at the same apartment complex where Anthony told law enforcement she dropped Caylee off with the nanny.
“It’s a place that I was familiar with because I had friends that used to live there,” she said.
Some of Mitnik’s questioning drew emphatic objections from Anthony defense lawyer Cheney Mason, who at times invoked Anthony’s rights against self-incrimination.
“So at the time you were making up the entire story (about) Zenaida having Caylee, where was Caylee?” Mitnik asked.
“At the advice of counsel, I decline to answer any questions about my daughter,” Anthony replied. “If you ask me again I will walk out of this room.”
Several other lingering questions about Caylee’s death also went unanswered, or drew objections: When did Anthony know her daughter was dead? Did she invent the nanny to protect herself? Someone else?
Why, Anthony was asked, did she make up a story rather than tell detectives the truth about Caylee’s whereabouts?
“That was my personal choice,” Anthony said. But why? “I’m not going to answer that question.”
The deposition was part of ongoing legal wrangling surrounding Anthony’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Gonzalez argues her lawsuit should survive the bankruptcy because Anthony was “willful and malicious” in damaging her reputation.
At the crux of the suit are comments Anthony made to her mother, Cindy, during a jailhouse visit. Anthony allegedly said she hadn’t ruled out Gonzalez as a suspect, information her mother relayed to reporters.
“I could very easily have been confused at the time, not having a picture of this person in front of me, not knowing who they were even speaking about,” Anthony said.
Anthony said she didn’t authorize her parents to represent her in the press: “I had zero control over that. I was in jail, Mr. Mitnik. I had no control over anything.”
As the deposition neared its end, Anthony emphatically said she never blamed the woman suing her for Caylee’s disappearance.
“That’s never been the case and that will never be the truth. So let’s get that straight right here and now. You can ask a hundred more ridiculous questions. I’m not going to answer them,” she said. “I’m done here.”