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Mar 052013

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — In her first public appearance since her murder acquittal in 2011, the unemployed Casey Anthony said that she lives, “free off of the kindness of others,” along with donations of cash and gift cards from strangers.

Even though she’s been called the most hated woman in America, Anthony has a fervent group of supporters who use assumed names and brush off death threats in order to stand by her side.

“I think Casey made some mistakes and I think the picture that we see is a caricature of who she really is,” a supporter who goes by Melissa told ABC News. “I don’t think we see the whole Casey in what has been presented. There’s a hard road ahead of her, but she has a lot of support.”

Melissa asked that her real name not be used in order to protect herself and her family. She said she is a college-educated, married mom in her 40s who lives on the West Coast.

Melissa said that she has never personally given money to support Anthony, but has seen comments on the website she helps run,, from others who, “have sent support to the attorneys.”

“From what I gather, she has a strong support system after the trial,” she said. “I think the lawyers are personally invested in Casey and want to see her succeed, and therefore there is a support system of people that do help her.”

While Anthony was in jail, she received checks in the mail from sympathetic supporters so that she could spend money on snacks and cosmetics.

When asked if Anthony or her team have been in touch with the website, Melissa said, “Yes, we have been thanked…I can’t really speak to whether we’ve talked to her personally.”

Melissa said her initial belief was that Anthony was guilty, but after watching the trial, she came to a different conclusion.

“I didn’t buy the evidence…I came to the conclusion that the verdict was correct,” she said. “I think that the jury got it right.”

Melissa thought Anthony was “vilified” in the public and found other Anthony supporters online. They began to communicate on Facebook and Skype. Eventually, the website was created. It is one of several websites and many Facebook pages on which people sympathize with, and even admire, Anthony.

“It was to give people a safe place to go and support Casey,” Melissa said. “Some of the comments are from the men who may think she’s cute, but it goes beyond that.”

Melissa said the website frequently receives death threats, some so serious that organizers have reported them to police.

“We can’t control some of the comments where it may seem that someone has a crush on Casey, but we are not a fan site,” she said. “We are a support site with the goal of counteracting the court of public opinion and supporting her through the justice system and thereafter.”

Anthony, 26, went into hiding in 2011 after she was acquitted of murdering her toddler, Caylee. She received a barrage of threats. 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.

“I don’t pay rent. I don’t pay utilities,” Anthony said in bankruptcy court in Tampa, Fla., on Monday. “I guess you could say I’m living free off the kindness of others.”

 She said at the meeting 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’s lawyers have said since she was acquitted that she has not received any offers for book, movie or television deals. She repeated that at the bankruptcy hearing.

Melissa used to be afraid to support Anthony publicly, but said she has become more vocal about her sympathy. She said her husband and parents are aware of her “hobby” and support her. She spends several hours a day working on the Anthony website and has also been kept busy by a second website she is helping with,

“My reason for helping with it is because I do think women in high-profile trials are misportrayed [sic] in the media, and it drives me crazy to see them calling someone a sociopath by the way their eyes look and diagnosing people they haven’t ever met,” she said. “I have a lot of passion in what I do.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jan 272013

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Casey Anthony has filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida.

The 26-year-old, who has been in hiding since she was acquitted 18 months ago of murdering her daughter, is seeking relief from a mountain of legal fees, penalties and back taxes.

Anthony filed the motion Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. According to the filing, Anthony has $1,084 in the bank and owes nearly $800,000, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The bulk of Anthony’s debt — $500,000 — is attorney’s fees and costs for her defense during her high-profile murder trial.

Anthony also owes $145,660 to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for investigative fees related to the case because she misled them during the investigation; $68,540 to the Internal Revenue Service; and $61,505 in court costs.

The filing also mentions that Anthony is a defendant in several ongoing civil suits, including one filed by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez for defamation.

Anthony told detectives in 2008 that her daughter, Caylee, had been kidnapped by a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.

Authorities found the woman did not exist, but a Florida woman sharing a name with the fictitious nanny filed suit against Anthony.

Gonzalez said she lost her job and was evicted from her house as a result of Anthony’s tale. The two women did not know each other.

Anthony later told authorities her daughter had drowned.

Roy Kronk, the meter reader who found the body of 2-year-old Caylee, and Texas EquuSearch, a group that spent more than $100,000 searching for the missing toddler, are also suing Anthony, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

On Friday, a Florida appeals court overturned two of Anthony’s four lying convictions for misleading authorities.

Anthony completed her one-year probation for check fraud in August, leaving her free to go wherever she pleases. She resurfaced a few times over the past year via a leaked video diary and a telephone conversation with Piers Morgan, but has otherwise succeeded in disappearing from the public eye.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jan 082013

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — A panel of Florida judges heard arguments Tuesday regarding Casey Anthony’s four convictions for lying to authorities during the search for her daughter Caylee Anthony in 2008. Her defense attorneys are appealing the convictions.

Anthony, 26, was acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter in 2011, but she was convicted on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement, stemming from her initial statements to detectives.

Anthony falsely told police that her daughter had been kidnapped by a nanny named Zenaida Gonzalez.

Anthony, who has been dubbed the most hated woman in America and has been in hiding since her release from jail, was not at the hearing at the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, Fla.

No ruling was made Tuesday and the court has as long as needed to make a decision.

The appeals court is being asked to decide whether Anthony was in police custody when she made the statements that led to her convictions, according to ABC News’ Orlando affiliate, WFTV.

If the appeals judges decide she was in police custody, the convictions could be overturned on the grounds that the statements were inadmissible since she had not been read her Miranda rights.

The outcome of this criminal appeal could impact Anthony’s pending civil suit from Zenaida Gonzalez, a woman who shared a name with the fictional nanny Anthony claimed had taken her daughter.

Gonzalez is suing Anthony for defamation, saying she was damaged by the use of her name. Gonzalez says she lost her job and was evicted from her house as a result of Anthony’s tale. The two women did not know each other.

“This hearing today is critical for our case because, at this junction, we have been unable to get testimony from Casey Anthony…because she has been hiding behind the shield of the Fifth Amendment,” Gonzalez’s attorney, Matt Morgan, told ABC News Tuesday.

Anthony’s pending criminal charge allows her to plead the Fifth so that she does not incriminate herself in her criminal case.

If the appeal is granted and the state does not appeal to the Supreme Court, Anthony could eventually be forced to answer questions about Caylee in the civil trial.

“We expect that her criminal appeal will hopefully be resolved and she will no longer have protection for the Fifth Amendment to hide behind,” Morgan said.

Morgan hopes that the civil trial will be able to proceed in the late spring or early summer.

Anthony’s attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Anthony completed her one-year probation for check fraud in August, leaving her free to go wherever she pleases. She resurfaced a few times over the past year via a leaked video diary and a telephone conversation with Piers Morgan, but has otherwise succeeded in disappearing from the public eye.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Aug 242012

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images)(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Casey Anthony has completed her one-year probation sentence for check fraud, leaving her free to go wherever she pleases.

Anthony’s attorney Charles Greene told ABC News that Anthony was free as of midnight, but that she has many issues to face before she attempts to move forward with her life.

“She’s lost her daughter, she’s lost most or all of her family, she’s lost her friends, she’s reviled by a percentage of the population and that will probably never change,” Greene said. “She will never be able to walk down the street with anonymity.”

Anthony, 26, was acquitted last summer of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony.

After Anthony’s acquittal, Florida Judge Belvin Perry ordered her to serve one year of probation for a 2010 check fraud conviction. Prior to her first degree murder trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing checks from her best friend Amy Huizenga during the time that Caylee was missing.

Since then, Anthony has been serving her probation from an undisclosed Florida location. She has resurfaced a few times over the past year via a leaked video diary and a telephone conversation with CNN’s Piers Morgan, but has otherwise succeeded in disappearing from the public eye.

Greene would not comment on any details of Anthony’s whereabouts or her future plans.

Anthony has checked in with probation officers every month for the past year and her monthly reports have been public. Anthony’s reports have consistently said that she is unemployed, has not been taking any classes and has not been drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

“It’d be hard to imagine that, at least in the very near future, she could ever have what many of us would consider a normal life,” Greene said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio