The 26-year-old gives her first interview since her July 2011 release from jail

By Steve Helling
June 13, 2012 06:30 AM
Credit: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Getty

Since her July 2011 acquittal in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, Casey Anthony has kept a low profile – living in hiding and refusing all media interviews.

But Tuesday afternoon via telephone, Anthony, 26, spoke to CNN’s Piers Morgan. During the 10-minute conversation – which was not played on-air – Anthony asserted her innocence, took issue with her public image and shed light on her current life.

“I did not kill my daughter,” Morgan quotes Anthony as saying. “There’s nothing in this world I’ve ever been so proud of. There’s no one I loved more than my daughter. She’s my greatest accomplishment.”

As for herself, “I don’t drink now,” she told Morgan. “I’ve probably had a handful of beers since I’ve been on probation. I’ve never done drugs, apart from a little bit of marijuana in my early 20s.”

Anthony’s lawyer, Cheney Mason, revealed that she spends her days indoors, reading and watching television. Her current literary fare: The Hunger Games trilogy. (When Morgan informed Mason that The Hunger Games was about the brutal killing of children, Mason replied that he hadn’t read the books, but knew they were popular “like Harry Potter.”)

Living in solitary seclusion, Anthony says she has reflected on some of her mistakes. “I didn’t trust law enforcement because of my relationship with my father, who is ex law enforcement himself,” she said. “I didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt, which is probably why they didn’t give me the benefit of the doubt.”

Still, Anthony says that she has been misunderstood. “The public perception of me is bad, absolutely horrible,” she said. “I was a stupid kid. I’ve never been a ‘party girl,’ and I’ve gone through hell. I’m ashamed in many ways of the person I was.”