Sitting in a Tampa courtroom, Casey Anthony cheerfully chatted with her entourage, smirking as she glanced around. In a businesslike black skirt and heels, white blouse and long sleek hair, she looked more polished than she had in her last public appearance, when she walked out of an Orange County jail in July 2011, acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.
Despite the makeover, Anthony, 26, testified at a bankruptcy hearing on March 4 how the past 20 months have been marked by unemployment and financial troubles. Claiming assets of $1,084 and debts of $792,119.23 (mostly owed to her lawyer), she described how she has been relying on strangers-who send her cash and gift cards-and friends for help getting by. “I don’t pay rent. I don’t pay utilities,” she said in a loud, direct voice. “I live for free off the kindness of those I’m living with.”
Citing safety concerns, Anthony refused to name her benefactors, but a source close to her tells PEOPLE that she has reconciled with her entire family, including her father, George, whom she famously accused, during her murder trial, of molesting her. (He denied the allegations.) “They’re still rebuilding their relationship,” says the source. “But her parents have helped her out both emotionally and financially.”