It’s been more than a decade since Casey Anthony’s name has dominated headlines across the country. Now she is finally speaking out in her first on-camera interview since being acquitted in 2011 of murder, manslaughter and child abuse charges following the death of her 2-year-old daughter. , Caylee.
“Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies,” a three-part limited docuseries, premiered Nov. 29 on Peacock. Peacock is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.
On the show, Anthony stands by some of the same claims her legal team made in her defense all those years ago – including that she was sexually abused by her father, George Anthony, and that he lied to cover up. Caylee’s death. George Anthony has previously denied both of these allegations in court.
Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008, according to investigators. Cindy Anthony, Caylee’s grandmother, reported the child missing on July 15, 2008, 31 days later. The next day, police arrested Casey Anthony for child neglect. At the time, she told investigators the toddler was taken in by a babysitter.
Six months later, Caylee’s skeletal remains were found less than a mile from her grandparents’ Orlando home.
In his bomb interview with Alexandra Dean, showrunner and director, Casey Anthony makes several other revelations.
She lied to investigators
Anthony was eventually convicted on four counts of misdemeanor for lying to investigators investigating his child’s 2008 disappearance.
She falsely told investigators her daughter disappeared with a babysitter, who she later said didn’t exist, and said she worked at Universal Studios in Orlando when she didn’t. had none.
“It was the right guilty verdict. I lied to law enforcement, I admitted to lying to law enforcement, so I’m a convicted liar. That’s the truth,” a- she said in the new series.
In an attempt to explain why she lied, Anthony said it stemmed from the fact that she had been abused as a child and always followed her father’s instructions – even after seeing his daughter’s limp body .
“I lied to everyone because it was my whole life up until that point,” she said on the show. “Acting like everything is fine but knowing nothing is wrong. I’ve had years of therapy and I’m trying to analyze my own behavior and explain my own behavior, it’s all a reaction to trauma. “
“I pretended to be crazy. And gave law enforcement no reason to believe or trust anything I said,” she continued.
“I understand why, from an outside perspective, it all seems so…” she trailed off. “Because even for me, it’s always like that. As far as I’m concerned, nothing justifies my actions or my behavior, except to say that I was doing what I was conditioned to do.
She claims to have been abused by her father
In the documentary, Anthony reiterated her previous allegations that her father abused her between the ages of 8 and 12, which her father denied.
“When I was 8, my dad started coming into my room at night,” she said. “I was physically hurt, I was scared because I was physically hurt and I ‘can’t tell mom what happened (or) she’s going to get mad at me.’ That’s what I was told.”
George Anthony declined to be interviewed for the Peacock series. He did not respond to TODAY.com’s multiple requests for comment.
She alleges Caylee was the product of rape when she was 18
In the documentary, Anthony said her family also asked her to hide that she was pregnant when she was 18.
She said she was raped at a house party after being drugged.
“(I) drank a few beers, completely lost my memory because I was on drugs,” she said. “I woke up with my top, my jeans on the floor with my underwear and my bra still inside my shirt but on my boobs.”
She added that she was “lethargic” and “extremely disoriented” by the drugs and “could feel like (she had) had forced sex”.
She said she initially claimed the baby was her ex-boyfriend’s, but he eventually took a paternity test and discovered he was not the father.
“I lied to everyone,” she said. “That’s what I say, it’s so fucked up, it’s just years of feeling that I needed to live a certain life or show people that I lived a certain life, because I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me and I didn’t want my child to grow up thinking she was the product of something so bad and that I didn’t want her.
What she remembers of that fateful morning: “It’s not much”
Anthony recounted the morning his daughter likely died for the cameras. She said that morning she woke up to cook her daughter’s breakfast but “didn’t feel so good”. She went back to bed, turned on the TV, and Caylee went to bed with her.
“I’ve been a light sleeper all my life,” she said in the documentary. “Because I’m used to someone opening the door while I’m sleeping. I’m used to being alert, especially with my child next to me. That’s part of the reason she slept so long with me.
She said she knew her dad was home, but she fell asleep and “slept for a while.”
The next thing she remembers, she said, is her dad shaking her, asking her where Caylee was. She said it “didn’t make sense” to her because she thought her toddler had been next to her in bed.
Anthony added that his daughter “would never even leave my room without telling me, even if she had to go to the bathroom”.
“She knew she wasn’t allowed to be alone in the house,” she said.
Anthony said she started looking for her daughter in the house, then in the yard. By the time she returned from searching outside the house, she said, her father was “standing there with her.”
“She’s soaked,” she said in tears. “I can see him standing there with her in his arms and handing her to me and telling me it’s my fault. That I did this. That I caused this.
She said she “collapsed” with Caylee’s body in her arms, which was “heavy” and “cold”.
Instead of calling 911 or trying to revive Caylee, Anthony said his dad took Caylee and told him “everything would be fine.”
“I don’t know how long I sat outside, I don’t know where he went, he took it from me and he left,” she said. “I don’t know where he went and I don’t know what he did.”
Why she didn’t call 911
Anthony said she understands people wondering why she didn’t call 911 or wait to tell her mother.
“I know people are going to wonder why I didn’t make a phone call, why didn’t I call 911, why did I even wait to tell my mom anything, but I I didn’t tell him, why lie?” she says. “Knowing that I failed to protect my child and continued to fail him even after that. I failed her again and again and again. Because I still protected the person who hurt me.
“It was like I was brainwashed. And it wasn’t until much later that I started to really understand why,” she said. had Stockholm Syndrome.”
Anthony believed his daughter was fine until her body was found
“For the 31 days, I truly believed that Caylee was still alive. My dad kept telling me that Caylee was still fine,” she recounted in the new docuseries. had no threats, I just knew I had to do what he wanted me to do, the same reason I knew since I was 8 years old. Just do what he wants, it worked before, do it now. I did what I had to do to survive.
She added that her dad would tell her that Caylee was “fine” and to just “keep doing what I tell you to do…You’ll be reunited soon.” That’s what’s close to my heart – he told me at one point that we would be reunited soon.
Anthony said she was “conditioned” by her father and wanted to believe her daughter was alive.
“I really wanted to believe him, and maybe that’s the dissociation. Maybe I’m trying to shield myself from the pain of knowing deep down, all along, that something had happened that I didn’t want to deal with,’ she said. . “I wish it was a simple answer and a simple explanation, but nothing about trauma or abuse is ever simple because you’re just trying to survive.
“All this time he told me she would be fine. That’s what I chose to accept, because there was this little girl in me who wanted to believe that he wouldn’t hurt her like he hurt me.
Anthony says she still doesn’t know ‘what is the truth’
Anthony has never outright said in the new Peacock series what she thinks happened that morning and says straight up that she doesn’t “know what the truth is”.
“That’s why all of this is so difficult. I live with this guilt of feeling like I let her down and didn’t keep her safe and protect her. I always wanted the truth because I lived so long without it,” she said. “But I don’t know if I can handle it all. I don’t know if it would be better to know or not to know. Because I don’t know what the truth is. All I know is that something happened.
In the years following his trial, Anthony worked for his attorney, Pat McKenna. She also said in the docuseries that she was living at his house with her family after her trial as she got back on her feet.
She said she will always wonder what might have happened if she had handled her daughter’s death differently.
“It’s a difficult thing to live with on a daily basis, because nothing will bring it back,” she said, moved. “Even if one day I get the answers I need, it will never be enough. It will never be enough. »
This article originally appeared on TODAY.com