Casey Anthony was forced out of hiding Monday to attend a bankruptcy hearing at the federal courthouse in Tampa, Fla., where she must face the creditors who are after her for nearly $800,000.
Dressed all in black, Anthony made her first public appearance since 2011, when she was controversially acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. She wore a wide-brimmed hat and covered her face with a coat as she walked from her vehicle to the door under the arm of one of her attorneys, Cheney Mason.
Anthony filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy
in late January, claiming less than $1,100 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities.
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In her bankruptcy filing, Anthony's debts include $500,000 for attorney fees and costs for her criminal defense lawyer during the trial, Jose Baez; $145,660 for the Orange County Sheriff's office for a judgment covering investigative fees and costs related to the case; $68,540 for the Internal Revenue Service for taxes, interest and penalties; and $61,505 for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for court costs.
Charles Greene, one of Anthony's attorneys, said she is relying on the kindness of friends to survive, adding that she filed bankruptcy so people would stop coming after her with lawsuits.
"She wants people to just leave her alone," Greene told NBC's Orlando affiliate in January. "She's had multiple opportunities to do tell-all book deals, to do tell-all interviews for a lot of money. That's not what she's trying to do. She wants this over so she can finally have the time to mourn, not only about the loss of her daughter, but the loss of her life."
A television station in Phoenix, Ariz., was reportedly able to contact Anthony around the time of her filing.
"This is the next step towards closure," she said in a phone interview. "These are the things holding me back... This is the key for me."
Caylee Anthony's 2008 disappearance and subsequent murder made national headlines and sparked a frantic search for her body. Anthony initially claimed the child was kidnapped by a nanny, but investigators determined no such person ever existed. Time Magazine has called the case "the social media trial of the century."
Though Anthony was acquitted of Caylee's murder
, jurors convicted her of four counts of lying to detectives, and her attorneys appealed those convictions. Anthony was sentenced to time served for the misdemeanors.
She was sentenced to a year of probation after her release from jail for an unrelated case. For her protection, her whereabouts have been kept secret since she was released from state supervision last year.
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