Attorney Defends Family to Nation; Doesn't Understand why People Angry
'I've Yet to See them Without them Crying," NeJame Says
Posted September 10, 2008
One of Orlando's most powerful attorneys launched a national push Wednesday hoping to bring the focus of the case of missing Caylee Anthony back to the search for the girl.
Attorney Mark NeJame now represents George and Cindy Anthony, the parents of Casey Anthony.
Before NeJame began a national PR push on many of the national talk shows, he sat down with Local 6's Lauren Rowe for a one-on-one interview.
NeJame was first asked about the 911 call Cindy Anthony initially made to police.
"I don't think anyone questioned Cindy Anthony that day and what she was saying and what she was feeling on that 911 call. But she said it on the call," Local 6's Lauren Rowe said. "She said it smells like there has been a dead body in the car, and she was right."
"And that is up to the investigators to address that," NeJame said. "God forbid, anybody else should walk in these shoes. Where is the training for this? Where is the lesson for this? There are none. There is no playbook of how you act when your daughter is accused of murdering your granddaughter. Let people be people. Don't judge and don't speculate. Just allow people to process and live and work through their own grief as they need to."
NeJame said people need to understand what the family is going through.
"Who is somebody else to tell another person how long they are supposed to grieve and how long they are supposed act? Who? Who are we to do that?" he said.
"I don't think anyone would disagree with that but you are not a therapist, you are a criminal defense attorney and part of your job is now speculate what could possibly come down the pike for George and Cindy Anthony," Rowe said. "After she found the car and thought it smelled like a dead body, she took clothing out of that car and washed that clothing. (There's) a lot of speculation, if something does happen, is it possible that Cindy Anthony could face criminal charges?"
"No," NeJame said.
"You are telling me that you don't think about that at all as now her defense attorney?" Rowe asked.
"Talk to the law enforcement," NeJame said. "(Cindy Anthony) is not a suspect and not a person of interest. They've made that clear. They've obviously done their investigation and she has obviously spoken to them and why is everybody presuming they know more than law enforcement?"
"Does Cindy Anthony still believe that her daughter had nothing to do with her daughter's disappearance?" Rowe said.
"She absolutely believes that she is still with us," NeJame said.
"Despite all of the alleged evidence found in the car that investigators have put out there, she truly believes that all of that does not exist and that there is some other explanation for DNA, for samples in the air and that there was a decomposing body in the car?"
"First of all, I'm not going to get into the case because that is not my role and that is not my goal," NeJame said. "The fact of the matter is that she believes for whatever reasons that Caylee is still with us. Other people do as well. She is not alone. In fact, when you think about it, there are still leads coming in. We've gotten two in the last several days. So, she is holding on to a grandmother's hope."
NeJame said if it comes to Casey Anthony against her family, he is on the grandparents' side.
"I've never met (Casey's attorney) Jose Baez and never met Casey," NeJame said. "I don't have any desire to meet them concerning this case. I represent George and Cindy Anthony. I have no involvement in their daughter's case and I don't want any involvement in their daughter's case. My sole and exclusive role and goal is to represent George and Cindy Anthony in their quest to find their granddaughter Caylee."
"They've hired you," Rowe said. "To the average person out there, they then start to wonder, is it really denial or is there something that the Anthony family is not sharing with investigators?"
"Absolutely not," NeJame said. "Very simply, they needed assistance and they came to realize that. They are buckling. The fact of the matter is that the stress would destroy anybody. One day their family just imploded on them. Their daughter is accused of some of the most reprehensible acts we can imagine as human beings and who is facing tremendous time in jail as a possibility and most importantly, their beloved granddaughter is just gone. Imagine living with those burdens. And for some reason, we've completely lost sight of that."
"And you truly believe that they've done everything that they can, that George and Cindy, have done everything that they can to get information from their daughter, Casey?"
"I'm not going to get in between any conversations between George, Cindy and Casey," NeJame said. "It would be inappropriate and law enforcement has asked us not to get into that. So, the last thing I would want to do and I think anybody in the media would want to do would be to compromise any investigation."
"I can appreciate that, but you can understand why people are so angry at them?" Rowe said.
"No, I don't," NeJame said.
"You don't understand why mothers and fathers -- especially mothers and fathers of other missing children are out there saying, 'Why can't you get your daughter to tell you what happened?'" Rowe said.
"It is this simple; doesn't anybody know what goes on behind closed doors and the answer is clearly no," NeJame said. "So, the last thing we would want to do, if the public is really concerned about Caylee, is let the system work. Stop judging and stop injecting things that people have no clue about. They have none. If you think about it, all this investigation started because of Cindy making a phone call."
"How is she and how is George?" Rowe asked.
"Some people with not such good motives have sucked the life energy out of them, compounded with the fact that their daughter has been accused of some horrendous things and facing tremendous prison time. Then, most important -- without doubt -- that Caylee is not here. I've yet to see them without them crying."
NeJame said he is already defending George Anthony for allegedly assaulting a protester. He said he does not believe that official charges will be filed.
Also, NeJame said he has talked with the Sheriff's Department about hiring off-duty deputies because of the crowds of protesters.