Casey Anthony stays mum in deposition

Reuters News

10/8/2011 2:53:49 PM - Reuters News

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - Casey Anthony, the Florida mother acquitted of killing her child, refused to answer most questions during a video deposition on Saturday in a civil defamation case filed by a woman who claims Anthony ruined her life.

Zenaida Gonzalez claims in her defamation suit that her life was ruined after Anthony falsely told investigators someone by that name kidnapped her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Anthony, 25, was acquitted in July of murdering Caylee but found guilty of lying to investigators. At trial, her attorney said Caylee died in 2008 in an accidental drowning in the family's backyard pool, and Zenaida Gonzalez was a figment of Anthony's imagination.

Gonzalez's lawyers contend Anthony obtained their client's name and details from a visitor card filled out by Gonzalez at an Orlando apartment complex.

Anthony, wearing a baseball hat and big sunglasses, appeared for Saturday's deposition via a video-conference arranged for her protection.

She has been living at a secret location while serving a year of probation on check fraud charges, a condition granted by a judge because of threats and public anger after her acquittal.

Orlando attorney John Morgan, who represents Gonzalez, said Anthony appeared to be unhappy and angry during the 45-minute deposition.

"You could see where there's points where she starts to hyperventilate, nostrils flaring. But there was never an outburst," he told Reuters.

Anthony's attorney could not be reached for comment.

Anthony's attire took lawyers and the court reporter in Morgan's office by surprise, he said.

"She was wearing a Phillies baseball hat. It looked like a wig -- I don't know if it was -- very thick black hair, long ponytail around her shoulder. She had these Dolce & Gabbana big, huge sunglasses on and a T-shirt," Morgan said. "The court reporter kinda gasped."

As expected, Anthony repeatedly invoked her Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating herself. Morgan said he plans to ask a judge to order Anthony to answer the questions.

"The real purpose of today was to ask the real serious questions. Did you make it up, why did you make it up, how did you hear about her," Morgan said.

In one of the few questions Anthony answered, Morgan said she told him that the last time she spoke to her mother, Cindy Anthony, was October 14, 2008.

Cindy Anthony called 911 in July 2008 because she hadn't seen her granddaughter Caylee in a month. Cindy helped organize a nationwide search for the child and kept the search going even after Casey was indicted on a murder charge.

Caylee's remains were found in woods near the Anthony family home in December 2008.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)