(TAMPA, Fla.) — Casey Anthony was forced to come out of seclusion and publicly answer questions for the first time Monday when she appeared in Florida bankruptcy court.
“I don’t pay rent. I don’t pay utilities,” Anthony said, according to local reports. “I guess you could say I’m living free off the kindness of others.”
Anthony, 26, has been in hiding since 2011 when she was acquitted of murdering her toddler Caylee. She was the victim of a barrage of threats and was dubbed the most hated woman in America. Aside from a few stray photos, Anthony has succeeded in staying out of sight.
Anthony has been unemployed for the past four years and filed for bankruptcy in January. She’s almost $800,000 in debt and has less than $1,100 worth of assets, according to her bankruptcy filing.
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She said at the proceeding that she lives with friends. When a federal bankruptcy trustee asked her if she bought her own food, she said, “I try to contribute when I can.”
Anthony also repeated what her lawyers have said since she was acquitted, that she has not received offers of any book, movie or television deals.
Her former attorney, Jose Baez, denied that he personally supported Anthony.
“All monies testified to at today’s hearing were obtained during the course of legal representation,” Baez told ABC News. “The media reports, or interpretation that I personally provided financial support to Ms. Anthony, are false.”
It was the first time Anthony has been forced to answer questions in public. She never took the stand to testify in her own defense during her murder trial. And efforts to get her on the stand in a lawsuit by a woman named Zenaida Gonzales have been delayed by the bankruptcy case.
Anthony insisted for months that her daughter Caylee had been stolen by a fictitious nanny named Zenaida Gonzales. A real Zenaida Gonzales has sued claiming she lost her job and her home because of Anthony’s lies.
A rattled Casey Anthony tried to hide her face Monday as she waded through a mob of photographers and reporters when she arrived at federal court in Tampa for a meeting in her bankruptcy case, her first public appearance since she was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2011.
Anthony clung to attorney Cheney Mason who exited the car with her as someone shouted repeatedly, “Did you get away with murder?”
She clutched a black floppy hat and a pair of sunglasses near her face and looked shaken as she was surrounded. Her brown hair was loose, just below her shoulders and she wore a long black sweater, black pants and a printed blouse.
The few glimpses of Anthony since her July 2011 release from jail have been some leaked video diaries and photos of her in Florida.
Anthony was convicted on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement, stemming from her initial statements to detectives. Two of the lying convictions were overturned in January, the same day she filed for bankruptcy.
Anthony’s attorney Charles Greene did not immediately respond to request for comment Monday, but told ABC News in January that it will be a while before Anthony can take any kind of job, saying that life will “never be normal” for the woman who still breaks down in tears at times.
Greene said that Anthony still receives threats and lives in hiding, despite the fact that both her prison time and probation have been served.
She is the target of a number of civil lawsuits, which also prevents her from moving, Greene said.
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