“Did Casey Anthony get money from her parents’ trust fund? After a ruling Tuesday, Anthony will have to tell Zenaida Gonzalez the answer to that question, but the public won’t find out at least until the case goes to trial.
Gonzalez’s lawyers wanted to know if Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy, have been funneling her money from the trust fund they created in honor of their granddaughter, Caylee Marie. Anthony’s attorneys argued that was “private financial information” and irrelevant to the ongoing civil suit.
At a hearing Monday, Gonzalez’s attorneys said that because they’re seeking punitive damages against Anthony, they must know everything they can about her net worth. They said their fear was that Anthony would argue at trial that she’s broke.
“We assume that they will take that position in the case,” said Gonzalez attorney John Dill.
Anthony’s attorney, Andrew Chmelir, countered that Gonzalez was only looking for publicity. The source of any funds Anthony has received, he said, isn’t necessary to determine how much money she has.
“They’re asking for information above or beyond what her net worth is,” Chmelir said.
The judge ruled in favor of Gonzalez, with a caveat: Anthony must answer Gonzalez’s questions, but her attorneys may not reveal the answers publicly other than in open court if the case goes to trial. The trial is currently scheduled for January.
The judge also heard argument about Anthony’s so-called “video diary,” which leaked online in January. In it, Anthony made reference to other audio recordings she had made. Gonzalez’s team told the judge they want those recordings. If Anthony was keeping a record of her thoughts, they argued, it’s reasonable the subject of her daughter’s death could have come up.
“We believe that this request could go to the discovery of admissible evidence,” Dill said. Anthony’s team countered that the request failed to identify which recordings they wanted specifically enough.
“I don’t know exactly what they’re referring to, your honor,” Chmelir told Circuit Judge Lisa Munyon, prompting Dill to play a portion of Anthony’s leaked video diary on his cell phone.
“This is not new information,” Dill said. The judge ruled against the defense’s argument that the request wasn’t sufficiently specific, but said that the recordings would be subject to private review in order to determine if they could violate Anthony’s fifth-amendment rights.
That process could be derailed, however: Anthony’s defense said Tuesday that Gonzalez’s team had agreed to waive its request for the recordings at a previous hearing. The Anthony team was given 15 days to provide a transcript proving that.
Citing a pending appeal of four convictions for lying to law enforcement about her daughter’s death, Anthony has relied on her right against self-incrimination in order to avoid answering questions in the civil suit.
The suit is based on Anthony’s statements, in 2008, that a nanny with a name similar to Gonzalez’s had kidnapped Caylee. Authorities later determined the nanny didn’t exist and the 2-year-old was dead. However, Gonzalez was interviewed by detectives and linked to the case in the media.”
More news as we have it.