Anthony parents divided on reconnecting with daughter
Orlando, Fla. • Casey Anthony's father said that he doesn't believe it's possible to reconnect with his acquitted daughter and that she should be held responsible for his 2-year-old granddaughter's death.
George Anthony told "Dr. Phil" host Phil McGraw in an interview that aired on Monday that after being accused by his daughter's lawyers during her murder trial of molesting her, he doesn't think a relationship is in the offing. He also said that he feels he was "played" by his daughter's lawyers over the past three years of the case.
"I do love my daughter, I don't like what she's done to this family," George Anthony said.
Cindy Anthony, however, said she hopes the relationship between mother and daughter can be mended and that she feels her daughter should have been acquitted.
She also told McGraw that her daughter's lead defense attorney, Jose Baez, invited her to his office for a private meeting shortly before the trial began because "he said that Casey wanted me to know how Caylee died."
The girl was the focus of a wide-ranging search after her disappearance in June 2008. Casey Anthony told police that a fictitious babysitter had kidnapped the child. The 25-year-old told the same story to her family until the child's skeletal remains were found in the woods in December 2008 not far from the Anthony family home.
During the trial over the summer, her attorneys told jurors the child accidentally drowned in the family pool.
"When he (Baez) told me she had drowned in the pool and that Casey panicked ... I was hysterically crying and couldn't believe our daughter had put us through this and ruined her life," Cindy Anthony said.
George Anthony, who wasn't invited to that meeting, said he thinks it was all an effort to manipulate Cindy emotionally and set him up the scapegoat for Casey's erratic behavior during her disappearance.
"I didn't believe anything," he said. "I didn't believe anything that the defense told me. I felt I had been played."
The Anthonys spoke with McGraw for a lengthy, taped interview that aired in three parts over the past two weeks.
Cindy Anthony said she never believed the molestation allegations against her husband, but wanted her daughter to be acquitted.
"I think (the jury) based (the verdict) on the lack of evidence the state presented," Cindy Anthony said. "... If I had been on that jury, I would have done the same thing."
A message left by The Associated Press with Baez was not immediately returned.
Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murder in July, but convicted of four charges of lying to police. She is somewhere in Florida serving a year of probation on a separate check fraud conviction. Authorities are keeping her whereabouts confidential for her safety.
Anthony's acquittal caused a national uproar, with people protesting their displeasure with the verdict both publicly and through social media. One of the defense's arguments was that some of Casey's erratic behavior could be explained because she was molested by her father, which George Anthony again denied.
"They had to put on a defense and they did that," he said.
Cindy Anthony said the last contact she had with Casey was via Baez. He said she wanted to pass along "That she loves us and that when the time is right she'll talk to all of us."
She said she thinks her daughter likely has remorse about the allegations she made against her father.
"I think she regrets it, but I don't think Jose regrets it," Cindy Anthony said. "...But it's something Casey will have to live with for the rest of her life."
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