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Casey Anthony: Trustee wants to sell life story to pay debts

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The trustee overseeing Casey Anthony's bankruptcy case has filed a motion to sell the rights to her story so she can pay her debts.

In a motion filed Friday in federal court in Tampa, trustee Stephen Meininger asked Judge K. Rodney May for permission to sell the "exclusive worldwide rights" to Miss Anthony's life story.

Miss Anthony, who is now 26, was acquitted of murder in 2011 in the death her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Miss Anthony has never told her side of the story, despite intense media scrutiny of the case.

During a meeting with creditors in her bankruptcy case in Tampa on March 4, Miss Anthony said she was unemployed and hasn't received any money to tell her story. She said that she is living with friends and that those friends — and strangers who send her gift cards and cash — help her survive.

But Mr. Meininger, through his attorney, said he thinks that her story has value and should be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

One man, Mr. Meininger wrote, has already offered to pay $10,000 for Miss Anthony's life story so he can prevent her from publishing or profiting from it in the future.

Mr. Meininger points out that the man's offer is not contingent on Miss Anthony's cooperation or participation. Miss Anthony's life story — including details about her childhood and the disappearance and death of Caylee — is referred to as "the Property" in the motion.

"Due to the intense public interest in Debtor and the Property, the Trustee believes that there will be interest from others in purchasing the Property," the motion reads.

An auction, with bidding, is the "best way to maximize the value for the Estate and its creditors."

A call to David Schrader, Miss Anthony's bankruptcy attorney, was not immediately returned.

One New York publisher said Monday that Miss Anthony's story has the potential to be worth seven figures.

"If she had the goods, and she was really going to spill the beans of what happened, particularly if she's not guilty, that's pretty big," said Eric Kampmann, the owner of Beaufort Books. "If she knew who the murderer was, for example, that would be huge. That would be the biggest news story of the year."

Mr. Kampmann, who said he has been in contact with a member of Miss Anthony's legal team but has no deal in place, is no stranger to controversial books. His publishing house reissued O.J. Simpson's book, originally scheduled for release by ReganBooks, an imprint of HarperCollins. But "If I Did It" was dropped in response to widespread outrage. ReganBooks founder Judith Regan was later fired and her imprint disbanded.

A federal bankruptcy judge then awarded rights to the book to the family of murder victim Ronald Goldman to help satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment against Simpson.

Beaufort Books, based in New York, published "If I Did It" with Simpson's original manuscript intact and commentary included. The Goldman family called the book Simpson's confession — the same description Ms. Regan offered in justifying the original publication. The Beaufort edition has sold more than 100,000 copies.

Mr. Kampmann said enough time has passed since Miss Anthony's trial that her story could be marketable.

Miss Anthony filed for bankruptcy in Florida in late January, claiming about $1,000 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities. Court papers list Miss Anthony as unemployed, with no recent income.

Her listed debts include $500,000 for attorney fees and costs for Jose Baez, her criminal defense lawyer during the trial; $145,660 for the Orange County sheriff's office for investigative fees and costs; $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.

The filling also states that she is a defendant in several lawsuits.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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