Casey Anthony has been in hiding ever since she was acquitted in July 2011 of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. The story captivated the nation, with many outraged at Anthony’s acquittal.
The woman dubbed “Tot Mom” by pundit Nancy Grace made her public debut for the first time in almost two years Monday when she appeared in a Tampa, Fla., courtroom for a hearing on her bankruptcy.
The Florida woman has been nearly universally vilified, so it’s no surprise that she hasn’t been able to find a job and has been forced into bankruptcy.
Many were expecting “Tot Mom” to get a book deal as soon as she was acquitted of her daughter’s murder, but at the court hearing she claimed she had not accepted any book, TV or movie deals and said she does not own a house or a car, Reuters said.
The 26-year-old has been unemployed for four years and is in nearly $800,000 in debt, according to her bankruptcy filings.
Anthony’s debt consists of $500,000 for attorney fees and costs for Baez; $145,660 for the Orange County Sheriff's office for investigative fees and costs; $68,540 for the Internal Revenue Service for taxes, interest and penalties; and $61,505 for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for court costs, the Associated Press said.
"I don't pay rent. I don't pay utilities," she said as reported by the AP. "I guess you could say I'm living free off the kindness of others."
"When I need to go somewhere, I take the bus," she said according to Reuters, adding her friends even buy her food. "I try to contribute when I can."
Anthony is saying she has been surviving off of “unsolicited donations” and even money that her former lawyer Jose Baez gave her, according to the AP, but he denies the claim.
"All monies testified to at today's hearing were obtained during the course of legal representation," he told ABC News. "The media reports or interpretation that I personally provided financial support to Ms. Anthony are false."
Anthony’s personal property was estimated to be worth only $1,000, including a laptop, family photos, two digital cameras and a bike.
Charles Greene, her current attorney, gave some insight to her personal life when speaking to ABC News in January.
"She's going to be 27 in March. She's still a young person and she's basically in a virtual prison based on her inability to move. So she would like to get a job, I can assure you, but she can't work at McDonald's. People would be looking at her instead of at the menu," he said.
"There will be no tell-all book, there is no tell-all movie," Greene said. "Her ability to progress and to grow up and to even be at her normal age was thwarted by what's happened to her in the last few years and what we believe happened to her in her earlier life, but that's her story to tell one day."
During the 50-minute court hearing, Anthony reportedly spoke calmly and in a “matter-of-fact” voice when answering the trustee’s questions with “yes, sir,” and “no, sir.”
Due to “safety and security concerns” it was not disclosed who paid for her cell phone bill, the AP added.
Anthony didn’t respond to any questions from reporters when entering or exiting the courthouse, and quickly sped off in her lawyer's Mercedes once the hearing was over.