Remember the bombshell allegations Jose Baez dropped in his opening statement at Casey Anthony’s trial? In a moment that stunned the courtroom, he claimed that her daughter Caylee drowned in the family pool and that Casey was sexually abused by her father, George Anthony, as a child.
No evidence was presented at the trial to support his claims and George Anthony directly denied them on the witness stand, but newly unsealed court documents may shed some light on where the allegations first surfaced.
On Tuesday, Judge Belvin Perry unsealed transcripts of two depositions conducted with doctors prior to Anthony’s 2011 trial for daughter Caylee’s murder. Psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Danziger and psychologist Dr. William Weitz had been asked by Anthony’s defense team to evaluate her, but they were later removed from the witness list by the defense.
READ THE FULL DEPOSITION DOCUMENTS HERE:
The depositions, released after a request by the Orlando Sentinel, show that Anthony told the doctors many of the same things Baez later claimed in court but was never able to substantiate.
See the video diary: Yup, this is Casey Anthony
Danziger, who had originally been appointed by the court to evaluate Anthony’s competency in 2008, met with her again in late 2010 at the request of the defense. During the deposition, he repeatedly expressed concern about discussing details of “crimes that may never have happened,” by going into detail about the alleged sex abuse.
He said his first impression of Anthony was “puzzlement,” noting that she seemed unusually pleasant and normal in an “extraordinarily abnormal situation” when he met with her in jail. He then repeated the claims she made in multiple interviews with him.
According to Danziger, Anthony said her father forced her to do “disgusting, demeaning” sexual acts regularly, starting at age eight and stopping when she was 11. She says she fought back when he tried again when she was older. George Anthony denied these allegations at the trial and no evidence was presented to support them.
“I asked, well, if these things happened, what would you do the next day?” Danziger said. “’Well, I’d go to school. I made straight A's. I had friends. I won awards. I was a popular girl.”
What about Caylee's Father?
Danziger also revealed what Anthony told him about how Caylee was conceived and that she suggested it may have happened against her will: “Took two beers, possibly given another drug. Woke up passed out unclothed bottom. Don’t remember anything at a party, age 18. This is how she said she became pregnant.”
He described what Anthony said happened the day Caylee died in June 2008. She told him she couldn’t find Caylee when she woke up, went out to check the pool and found her father holding Caylee’s wet body.
Reading from his notes, he said, “’He was yelling at me, your fault, can’t believe you did this’ … She said he came out and said, ‘Daddy is going to take care of it, the same thing he used to say to me. He left the house with the child. That’s the last time I saw her.’”
Later, Anthony told him she thought Caylee may still have been alive at that point, according to the transcript.
Danziger was also asked if he recalled telling prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick that Casey Anthony was “just pure evil.” He said he did not remember saying it, but he did not dispute her recollection that he did.
In a statement to HLN Wednesday, George Anthony's attorney, Mark Lippman, dismissed the claims about his client made in the depositions.
"George Anthony was made aware of these statements in the deposition prior to the trial of his daughter in 2011 and no new information has been disclosed today. As he has repeatedly said prior to the trial, during the trial and after the trial he never molested any member of his family including Casey Anthony and he had nothing to do with the death of Caylee Marie Anthony including what happened to her remains after she allegedly drowned," Lippman said.
Weitz recounted hearing similar claims from Anthony about childhood abuse and Caylee’s drowning when he interviewed her. In reference to when Caylee was born, Weitz said, “Casey did indicate that at a point in time she was concerned if George was actually the --- the father of Caylee but that was ruled out by DNA. She talked about then, it was either him or an incident that happened at a party ... There was a question in her mind that she may have been raped or date raped.”
Anthony also told Weitz that her father was responsible for Caylee’s death. “It is the perception of Casey that her father had something to do with the death of her daughter…He took Caylee from her. He did something to her. He then put her in the pool,” he said.
According to Weitz, Anthony took the allegations against her father ever further than Baez did in court. She told him, “She believes George took Caylee out of the bed, had a sexual -- some sort of a sexual experience with her daughter, and in order to cover it up killed her.”
Weitz said he questioned why Anthony did not tell her mother or seek help if that is what she believed happened.
Doctor: "Ironic twist" explains Casey's tattoo?
He also asked Anthony to explain her tattoos, including the “Bella Vita” one she obtained after Caylee went missing.
“Her life had been relatively normalized, moving in the direction, and then it had catastrophically changed, both in terms of what happened in her life both legally but also, in my mind, the loss of her daughter. So I’m saying there was an ironic shift,” he recalled as the reason she gave for getting that tattoo.
He said he believed that Anthony was in “total suppression and denial” during the 31 days between when Caylee was last seen and when she was reported missing.
Both doctors emphasized several times that the information they were providing was just what Casey Anthony told them and not necessarily what they believed to be true. And since the defense did not call them to testify at the trial, nobody knows if a jury would have believed it either.
For the latest on this and other crime stories, watch “Nancy Grace” weeknights at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST on HLN.