Why Is Casey Anthony Speaking Out Now?

The reclusive Casey Anthony's new interview was a strange decision as she had once hoped to cash in on her notoriety

In the years since Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, she kept a low profile. She was seldom seen in public, and she never gave a media interview.

The closest Anthony, 30, came to speaking publicly was when she released a video diary in 2012.

And then, this week, she shattered her silence — sitting with with a reporter from the Associated Press to give her side of the story. In an article published Tuesday, Anthony said she still has no idea what happened to Caylee on the day she died, despite her defense previously arguing the little girl drowned.

“I don’t give a s— about what anyone thinks about me, I never will,” she said. And she told the AP, “Based off what was in the media, I understand the reasons people feel about me. I understand why people have the opinions that they do.”

“I didn’t do what I was accused of, but I fought for three years,” she said. “Not just for me, but for my daughter.”

The interview was a strange decision for the reclusive Anthony, who had once hoped to cash in on her notoriety.

Immediately after her acquittal and release from prison in 2011, Anthony flew to New York with her legal team. While in the city, her attorneys met with several media outlets — including PEOPLE — to discuss possible interviews. According to several close sources, Anthony has spoken with multiple journalists over the years, hoping to find a time and place to tell her story.

But the interviews never materialized, and Anthony settled in relative obscurity in South Florida, living with Patrick McKenna, the lead investigator on her defense team.

She also works for McKenna, doing investigative work, including social media searches. She has started a photography business, although a source tells PEOPLE that she has booked very few jobs.

Casey Anthony. AP Photo/Joshua Replogle

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Anthony’s quiet life makes her decision to go public now all the more baffling. (The AP — like many other news outlets, including PEOPLE — does not pay for interviews.)

According to the AP, one of its reporters met Anthony in February as she protested against President Donald Trump at a rally in Palm Beach, Florida. She ultimately gave five on-the-record interviews over a one-week period. Several of them were audiotaped, and she also posed for multiple photos.

But she later texted the reporter, according to the AP, and asked that they not run the story.

“During the course of my bankruptcy, the rights to my story were purchased by a third-party company for $25k to protect my interests,” she wrote in the text, the AP reports. “Without written authorization from the controlling members of this company, I am prohibited from speaking publicly about my case at any time.”

Anthony also said she’d violated a confidentiality agreement with her employer.

However, she did not address why she agreed to speak in the first place. The AP describes her reasoning as “unclear,” and her team did not return PEOPLE’s messages for comment.

Like so many other things in the case, it remains a mystery.

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