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Will Tot Mom Deposition Video Be Released?

A hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon could determine if a videotaped deposition of Casey Anthony that took place earlier this month will be made public.

The deposition is part of a civil defamation lawsuit filed against Anthony by Zenaida Gonzalez, a woman who claims Anthony falsely accused her of kidnapping her daughter Caylee in July 2008. When Caylee was first reported missing, Anthony told police that a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez had taken her.

No babysitter was ever located and Anthony was eventually charged with Caylee’s murder, but attorneys for Gonzalez say she was questioned by police during the investigation and her life and reputation were damaged as a result.

Caylee Anthony’s remains were found in December 2008. In July 2011, Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder, manslaughter and aggravated child abuse in connection with her death. She was convicted of four counts of lying to law enforcement.

During the 45-minute deposition on October 8, Anthony, appearing via video from an unknown location somewhere in Florida, asserted her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer most questions. According to attorneys for Gonzalez, Anthony was wearing a hat, sunglasses and what appeared to be a wig.

Gonzalez’s attorneys told reporters they intended to file a video and transcript of deposition with the court on Tuesday and make it available to the public, but Anthony’s civil attorney, Charles Greene, then notified them that he planned to file an emergency motion to seal the video.

Judge Lisa Munyon had ordered Gonzalez’s attorneys to give Greene at least two days notice before filing the transcript to allow him to submit such a motion. On Wednesday, Greene filed an objection to the proposed filing of the transcript, stating that a motion to determine the confidentiality of the deposition would be filed “immediately hereafter.”

That motion had not appeared on the court docket yet on Wednesday night, but Greene stated in his objection that Gonzalez’s attorneys had “no proper legal basis” to file the transcript and videotape of the deposition.

“Plaintiff is abusing the discovery process for purposes of inflaming pre-trial public publicity against the Defendant,” Greene wrote. He also alleged that the filing of the video and transcript could cause “irreparable harm” to Anthony because of the possibility that it will be “leaked” before the judge rules on whether to seal it.

In their response, Gonzalez’s attorneys stated that they informed Greene of their intent to file the deposition transcript on October 6, but they agreed to wait until the week of October 17 to do so because Greene would be on vacation until then.

The plaintiff’s attorneys wrote that it was necessary to file the deposition in order to have the court rule on whether Anthony has the right to refuse to answer their questions. They believe Anthony has no Fifth Amendment privilege under these circumstances.

Judge Munyon set a hearing on the matter for 3:30 pm on Thursday.

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