Jan. 31, 2013 Piers Morgan Tonight Interview Transcript

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To the charge of first-degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury find the defend not guilty. As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, verdict as to count two, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. As to the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child, verdict as to count three, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: The verdict that shocked America. Casey Anthony found not guilty of murdering her daughter, Caylee. Today, Casey is unemployed and bankrupt. Also appearing more in public. So what is life like now? With me now for an exclusive interview was the attorney for Casey Anthony, J. Cheney Mason. Welcome back to you, Cheney Mason. How are you?
J. CHENEY MASON, CASEY ANTHONY ATTORNEY: I’m fine. Nice to see you again.
MORGAN: Lots of developments since we last spoke, and obviously last time, I got a chance to speak privately, not on camera, to your client. And she was clearly at the time feeling pretty vulnerable. She was in hiding. She insisted to me, I — obviously I didn’t kill my daughter, she said. Since then, the developments have been that two of her four convictions were vacated by the Court of Appeals and you had said we will keep fighting. Secondly, she was declared bankrupt last week. “L.A. Times” said she’s close to $1 million in debt. What can you tell me about those developments?

MASON: Well, we won in the appellate court, a reversal of two of the four misdemeanor convictions, and Miss [Fryer] and I are preparing, even started today, we will be filing some more pleas in the appellate court seeking further relief to dismiss all of those remaining two charges. As to the bankruptcy case, that’s not something that I am involved in other than as counsel to Casey. We have a bankruptcy lawyer who has filed because clearly she has no money, she has no assets, she has no job, she has no business.

And there are people trying to sue her for lots of money for reasons best known to them. Perhaps self-aggrandizing and publicity, but Casey is insolvent. That is a test for bankruptcy under United States law.

MORGAN: There’s been a big Lifetime Original movie in the last couple of weeks made about Casey. It starred Rob Lowe and it’s called “Prosecuting Casey Anthony.” I interviewed Rob about this. And he said the following.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Would you have personally convicted Casey Anthony from what you now know about the case? ROB LOWE, ACTOR, “PROSECUTING CASEY ANTHONY”: It’s my personal opinion that she absolutely had something to do with her daughter’s death. I don’t know if it was an accident or if it was premeditated. That I don’t know to this day, but there’s no doubt in my mind at all that she’s responsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Rob Lowe there, he played the prosecutor in the case. And what was your view of that? Did you see the movie? Did Casey see the movie?

MASON: I did watch the movie. And certain amounts of humor. It was a distortion of the truth. That’s why I didn’t participate in it. I had been contacted by the movie makers at the very beginning and asked to participate and comment, and they told me it was a story to espouse the prosecutor’s view. I refused, and I never had anything further to do with it. And I wouldn’t now. It was a distortion from the truth. My view is indeed that the character personalities were distorted, and you know, as you earlier led in, talk about the verdict that shocked America, and

America wouldn’t have been shocked if the truth had been presented.

America wouldn’t have been shocked except for the media hyping it for their own advertising and rating purposes. The case was fairly simple, frankly. After all the things we had to go through, there was no evidence saying Casey killed that child, period. And I don’t care what movie plot is dramatized, personal (INAUDIBLE) of somebody else. That’s the bottom line.

The jury saw it, and the lawyers and the judges around the country have seen it. And I’m seeing a great shift in people, starting to understand. You’re right. They didn’t prove the case. Because they didn’t have a case.

MORGAN: And did Casey herself see the movie, do you know?
MASON: You know what, I don’t — I spoke with her. I know she was not intending to watch it because she knew that it would be what it is. She may have seen reruns of it by now. But, you know, I’m sure the position is the same.
MORGAN: How would you describe her state of mind? Obviously, she’s got a lot of problems. And obviously, the movie will have done nothing, I guess, to change many Americans’ perception that she must have had something to do with her daughter’s death even though she was, as you say, cleared in the court of law of having anything to do with her death. How are you going to try and work through this in terms of client management and changing public perception?

MASON: Well, I guess there’s so many things we have to worry about changing in society. During my almost 70 years, we have watched people change attitudes and opinions on racial questions, political questions, economic questions, military questions. Everything that affects our lives. There are people who are never going to accept the reality. There are those who are committed to believing in spite of the absence of evidence that Casey killed her child and must have had something to do with it. I can’t change those people. They’re just going to have to die off of old age.

The bottom line is that people sometimes get so cast in positions based on what they read, see and hear from sound bites and short media presentations that there is no objective intellect to do evaluations. They just go with it.

We’re seeing the same thing in your main program earlier, which I have been watching. How do you change people’s mentalities about some things that they’re just married to?

MORGAN: I mean, one of the ways, of course, could be that she gives an interview, perhaps to me on this show, and speaks honestly for an hour about her experience and tries to communicate with the American public who still doubt her innocence.

MASON: Well, you know, look, Casey has been besieged by people, a lot of whom — some lawyers, some others involved,

I would characterize as being the moths that get to close to the fire. Just can’t resist staying away from something for their own self-promotion.

Casey did not kill her child. And I don’t care how many people want to believe otherwise and say I’m just a defense lawyer. I’m a defense lawyer. I have been one for 42 years. And I have handled quite a few homicide cases. You have to deal with facts that are truthful whether you like them or not. You have to deal with the evidence. That’s why we have rules of evidence.

And we had a case that was hard-fought. We didn’t have a judge that was helping us. We had a judge that was very stern in that courtroom about his rulings. We had all of the media hype in the world, as you well know, everybody condemning Casey, proclaiming her guilt until the jury came in and, as you said, shocked the world. My gosh, they looked objectively at it and they came out. Those people who choose not to believe that are not going to change their minds because they have watched Piers Morgan and Cheney Mason saying that. I understand that.

All I can say is stop and question. Question authority. Question the facts and say, OK, what did we miss that the jury got?

This could go on forever.

MORGAN: What is Casey’s relationship now with her family? Obviously, the case, the trial tore them all apart, but has there been any repairing of the damage there?

MASON: I don’t think so. I know Casey would like to have a normal life, if there is such thing ever available in her future. It’s not likely to be with a family that prosecuted her. It’s not likely to be with someone who went to a grand jury and testified against her to help get her indicted. It’s not likely to be family that did all they could to try to help the state kill her. I [sure would] never forgive those in the family that did that, and I don’t think Casey will either.

MORGAN: She’s lost her daughter. She’s lost her relationship with her closest family members. She’s got no money. She clearly, I would imagine, continues to feel vulnerable, frightened. You know her state of mind better than mine. It’s a pretty awful place to find yourself, particularly, if as that jury concluded, she was innocent of anything to do with her daughter’s death. How is she coping with this on a human level?
MASON: The best way I can describe it is with anxiety. Casey wants to have a normal life. She wants to be left alone. She wants lawyers to quit suing her in meaningless, non-meritorious lawsuits that can only be characterized as being done for their own publicity and aggrandizement, without merit. She needs to be left alone. And that’s why she filed a petition for bankruptcy, so the federal bankruptcy court can help her be left alone. And people just quit trying to profit off of her and her emotions and the tragedy. It’s going to be a long time for her.
MORGAN: Does she have much exposure to meeting members of the public? And if she does, what is the kind of reaction that she gets?
MASON: She does not have current exposure.

I can tell you that there are members of the public still today who when they see me and/or some of the other lawyer team, like Liz Fryer, confront and question and are argumentative. However, there are also substantially more now that are saying, you know, good job. I understand. I now know. I think the jury was right. You know, they should not have convicted her.

So along that process is Casey. She’s sitting back there where she can’t go out for fear of retaliation. Her personal safety is continually at risk. There are plenty of cowards out there that would try to confront this 105-pound little girl and challenge her because of their ignorance. That’s not going to go away anytime soon. But her team of lawyers that I helped assemble, and we put together to do this, are going to continue to fight for her, to protect her and help her try at some point to have a normal life. I don’t know when that’s going to be since we have media doing such cute things as saying she is the most hated woman in the world.

How can she go do anything like that? How can she walk down the street of Manhattan or Miami or Orlando or Houston, anywhere else, without people pointing and whispering and some wanting to get their few minutes of fame by assaulting and threatening her? We’re doing our best to prevent that from happening. So she will remain in seclusion as long as it takes.

MORGAN: J. Cheney Mason, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
MASON: Thank you.

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Comments
  1. Donia Thimons says:

    Very good interview and I believe the media is becoming the Monster they claimed Casey Anthony to be..for the Love of Money! with ratings covering up the TRUTH …the Media was so FREELY allowed to publicized with lies, allegations has “ENTERTAINMENT” may now be determined has CRIMINAL INTENT from day ONE and continuing to profess Casey Anthony Guilty of a crime she did not commit for financial reward is insane and illegal in America…Casey Anthony needs to get her LIFE back…and the Media prosecuted for SLANDER and embezzeling Florida taxpayers by allowing Jose Baez’s $200K ABC Contract to represent the accused and $elling an innocent women to the MEDIA for financial rewards embezzeling Floridians in the process and generate Billions if not Trillions for the media in the past 5 years. The MEDIA is GUILTY as charged! Amen!
    I trust that the Federal Court will give Merits to Casey Anthony’s Bankruptcy! Corruption in Florida Courts must be exposed in America!

    Like

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