Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Money in Crime as Casey Anthony Negotiates Her Freedom

Guest Post by true crime author Cathy Scott

The future for the woman who partied for a month after her daughter went missing is uncertain. But one thing is clear: With Casey Anthony’s acquittal in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, nothing is stopping her from cashing in on tabloid interviews, a book or movie deals and hitting the jackpot.

Because of her acquittal, so-called Son of Sam laws fashioned to keep criminals from earning money from their crimes do not apply. But can she turn her infamy into a fortune?

It looks like her legal team is already giving it a whirl. Word has leaked that defense attorney Jose Baez has hired a powerful public relations agency to shop Casey’s story. Wouldn’t it be a kick to be a fly on the wall in those negotiations, with Baez and a PR representative vying for top dollars for their client – a convicted liar – for her first interview, first book and first movie? Baez told a TV pundit that he didn’t want to say too much about Casey because her team was saving details of her story for later. Smart PR move.

If the networks do open their wallets in a checkbook journalism move, time will tell if it brings with it public backlash.

Baby Killer or Porn Star

Behind bars for three years, over the weekend, Casey walked out of the Orange County jail with sheriff’s deputies armed with semi-automatic rifles and her attorney as she stepped into an SUV. Barriers were set up to separate bystanders from the road, and mounted police kept guard as bystanders hollered, “Baby killer!”

While Casey’s name is now a household word, Baez may be underestimating just how vitriolic the public’s feelings are about an accused child killer walking out of jail a free woman. Some have called her the most hated woman in America. Network execs could be gun shy about giving Casey a megaphone. Some hesitation has already been seen. After Casey’s July 5 acquittal, her attorneys received a million-dollar offer to star in a porn film, but a day later porn kingpin Steve Hirsch withdrew the offer, explaining that porn-watchers aren’t interested in the exonerated Casey Anthony.

“We now believe that we underestimated the emotional response that people are having to the verdict,” Hirsch told “A movie starring Casey Anthony is not what people want to see. It has become obvious to us that Vivid [movie] fans, and people in general, want nothing to do with her and that includes a XXX movie.”

The Jerry Springer Show Urban Myth

Since noting that the Jerry Springer Show had offered Casey $1 million for an appearance, we received the following from Springer spokesman Gary Rosen:

There is absolutely no truth to this story whatsoever. Al Taylor [who apparently broke the false story] does not work for the show and he has not worked for the show for many years. He has no authority, nor has he ever had any authority, to speak on behalf of the show. We have no idea why he has surfaced now and made any of the statements he has made but his statements are completely false. There has never been an offer and there never will be an offer.

Time is short for both Casey and her family to reach for a little green through the window of opportunity for television appearances and the like. Casey, throughout her trial, was depicted as a pathological liar, and the jury convicted her of four counts of lying to law enforcement, which makes whatever she says in interviews questionable.

Internal Revenue Service on Casey’s Tail

Quick dollars may still come in. But lawsuits and financial snarls are arriving as well. First, the IRS slapped Casey with a notice, just before her acquittal, of back taxes from money earned for paid interviews before her incarceration.

Then, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman Casey accused of abducting her child, sought a deposition from Anthony in a defamation lawsuit. And prosecutors have filed papers seeking to force Casey to compensate the State of Florida for the high cost of searching for her daughter when Casey was aware, as her attorney said during his opening statement, that Caylee was never missing. Baez claimed that Caylee drowned in the Anthony’s backyard pool, even though evidence was never produced during trial to prove that theory. Her body was found five months after she was reported missing in the swampy woods not far from the Anthony’s Orlando home.

Her Future Will Be Handled in a “Dignified Manner” with Cash on the Barrel Head

Casey did not testify at her trial. But it looks like it’s only a matter of time before we’ll hear her side of the story. Baez told FOX news that Anthony’s affairs are being handled in a “dignified manner. If she decides she wants to speak publicly about it, she’ll make that decision.”

One thing is certain: Other offers are no doubt pouring in now that Casey is free to profit from her story. Casey, a high school dropout, doesn’t have many other options. She hasn’t had a job since 2006 when she worked for Kodak as a vendor on the grounds of the Universal Studios theme park.

Her handlers have made it clear they’re entertaining offers to cash in on her name, as tarnished as it is. And that means that Casey will no doubt have the last word. Time will tell who strikes the best deals.

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