Casey Anthony, the Florida woman who was tried and acquitted in the death of her young daughter, broke her silence Tuesday to CNN's Piers Morgan, saying she was rightly found not guilty.
"Obviously I didn't kill my daughter," Anthony said, Morgan reported on "Piers Morgan Tonight." The two spoke for roughly 10 minutes by phone.
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"If anything, there's nothing in this world l've ever been more proud of, and there's no one I loved more than my daughter. She's my greatest accomplishment," she said.
Anthony, 26, was acquitted last summer of murder charges in the 2008 death of Caylee, 2, but was convicted of four counts of lying to authorities investigating the child's disappearance. She was given credit for time already spent behind bars, however, and was released from jail July 17.
Anthony has remained in seclusion since then, although a judge ruled she must serve a year of probation stemming from her 2010 conviction on check fraud charges.
"I'm ashamed in many ways of the person that I was," she told Morgan, referring to past media interviews she characterized as "horrible." "Even then, that wasn't who I am.
"I'm 26 now, and I've gone through hell," Anthony said.
Caylee was last seen June 16, 2008, but was not reported missing until July 15, 2008, when Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, tracked her daughter down and demanded answers regarding Caylee's whereabouts.
Investigators searched for the child for five months, eventually finding Caylee's skeletal remains in woods less than a mile from her grandparents' Orlando home.
Prosecutors alleged Casey Anthony used chloroform to render her daughter unconscious and then duct-taped her mouth and nose to suffocate her. They alleged that she put the child's body in the trunk of her car for a few days before disposing of it.
Casey Anthony's defense attorneys maintained that Caylee was not murdered. They said the child drowned in the Anthony's above-ground pool on July 16, and that Casey Anthony and her father, George Anthony, panicked upon finding her there and covered up the death. George Anthony denied that in testimony.
Though Anthony's trial made national headlines, she has since dropped largely out of sight. She surfaced in January when a "video diary," apparently recorded in October, found its way onto YouTube. In that video, Anthony talks to the computer about a dog she adopted. She wore dark-rimmed glasses and her naturally brunette hair was colored blond.
Anthony told Morgan she didn't trust law enforcement, and that the public image of her is still wildly inaccurate.
"I've never been a party girl. I don't drink now. I've probably had a handful of beers since I've been on probation," she said.
"I'm not making gazillions of dollars at the hands of other people, or trying to sell myself to anyone willing to throw a couple of dollars at me," Anthony said. "The caricature of me that is out there, it couldn't be further from the truth."
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