Cindy and George Anthony: The most hated grandparents in America?
If Casey Anthony is the most hated woman in America, as one poll has suggested, Cindy and George Anthony just might be shoo-ins for worst grandparents in America. That's judging by the outrage being vented against the couple following their exclusive interview on the season premier of "Dr. Phil."
The couple said they decided to be interviewed by TV host and therapist Phil McGraw so they could tell their side of the story about the disappearance and death of their granddaughter, Caylee. Instead, in the interview that aired Tuesday, they seemed to defend some of their daughter Casey's actions.
Casey was acquitted in July of killing the 2-year-old, whose body was found in December 2008 near the family's home. She had gone missing in mid-June of that year, but was not reported missing for a month. The inconsistencies in her accounts to police raised suspicions among the public that have never gone away.
In the interview, Casey's parents seemed oddly remote, almost devoid of outrage over the apparent murder of their granddaughter or the thicket of lies that that their daughter told in the days leading up to her arrest.
One example: Cindy Anthony defended her daughter's decision to go to a bar and hop up on stage for a hard-body contest during the very same period that Caylee was missing. A photograph captured a smiling, laughing, well-coiffed Casey Anthony during this "bump-and-grind" moment (as highlighted again and again by CNN's Nancy Grace).
Cindy Anthony told Dr. Phil it was unfair to sum up the night with that photograph because Casey didn't go to the bar intending to enter the contest -- she joined it to help out a friend after another friend dropped out of the contest. Dr. Phil called her out on this point, but Cindy Anthony insisted she was merely trying to set the record straight.
Cindy Anthony also said that their daughter had a history of seizures and that she had wondered whether that condition had something to do with Caylee's disappearance -- perhaps something happened to Caylee while Casey was blacked out. Cindy Anthony also said she'd wondered whether postpartum depression may have played a role in the child's disappearance.
Some inconsistencies were obvious. At one point, Cindy said her daughter didn't have a history of deceit -- but then conceded that Casey hid her pregnancy from her parents until she was five months along.
Dr. Phil told Matt Lauer, co-host of NBC's "Today" show, that Cindy Anthony is simply unable to face her daughter's role -- whatever it might have been -- in Caylee's death. "I think it’s denial of the highest order," he said. "It’s like, 'I'm going to find some reason to say this was involuntary on [Casey’s] part, whatever it is she did."
For his part, George Anthony let his wife do most of the talking. He was largely out of the public eye during the investigation and trial, even though at one point he was accused of molesting his daughter when she was a child.
It appears, however, that George Anthony gets an opportunity to speak at length during Part 2 of the interview, which is slated to air Wednesday.
Cindy Anthony said she still has hopes for her daughter.
"I would love to see her be happy either in a career or in a family setting," Cindy Anthony said. "You know, I'd love for her to get married if she so chooses and, if she's healthy, to be able to be a mom again."
Few people may wish that. Casey Anthony was recently voted the most hated person in America, according to a poll that monitors the public's perception of celebrities or, in this case, the simply notorious.
The grandparents aren't winning much admiration either.
Here are a few of the comments left on the "Dr. Phil" discussion boards:
-- "Its very tragic that these parents feel they have to protect their daughter in all circumstances; even after she killed her own child, their precious and beloved granddaughter... tragic situation."
-- "Deny deny deny all you want...don't you want justice for your granddaughter?"
-- "I can't believe what I hear coming from Cindys mouth. She is still trying to make excuses for her daughter when in fact there is NO excuse. The interview has made me sick on my stomach!"
-- "There is NO way I would take up for ANY child of mine who would hurt my grandchild."
-- "What I heard today was more of the same BS that they spouted during the last three years. Cindy will always make excuses because to admit that Casey is guilty would be a direct reflection on her as a parent."
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch
Photo: Cindy and George Anthony are interviewed by Dr. Phil McGraw on the "Dr. Phil" show. Credit: CBS Television Distribution