The Casey Anthony trial has been the topic of conversation of late. It is now being dubbed as the social media trial of the century. While outlets like Nancy Grace and Fox News have a field day participating in the media circus, a nation of stunned viewers wonder: what's next for Casey Anthony?
Now that the gavel has pounded, where will Anthony go from here?
Although a Florida jury of her peers saw fit to acquit her of murder, Anthony clearly has been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of public opinion. She is persona non grata - a mommy dearest that America loves to hate. She is an internationally recognized figure - I imagine it will be hard for Anthony to go out in public, let alone find employment or housing - or dare I even say it; a future spouse.
Where will she live? Will she return to the family home - the place where she was allegedly abused and her daughter allegedly died? Her family has already received death threats from outraged citizens hoping for vigilante justice, heaping additional stress upon an already tense family environment.
Anthony's defense team argued her father and brother sexually molested her, accusations both men passionately deny. Now that she's out, who else does Anthony have to turn to other than her family?
That'll sure make for an awkward Thanksgiving.
So we are left with the question, how can she begin to make amends and move on?
- For starters, seek counseling, therapy, rehab.... the works.
It's no secret Anthony has problems.
"Nobody likes a liar, and Anthony was a habitual liar. And nobody liked the fact that she was partying after Caylee's death. Casey obviously has a lot of psychological problems. Whether she murdered her daughter or not is another thing," said Dr. Carole Lieberman, a forensic psychiatrist in the department of psychiatry at UCLA.
Acknowledging her issues and accepting responsibility for the trouble they have caused is a beginning. Continuing on the straight and narrow is the next.
i.e. Stop blaming everyone around you, act remorseful, and for heaven's sake - shed a tear or two. Act like a grieving mother and apologize to your family - and the world.
2. Next, stay the heck out of the public eye!
Keep it on the DL please...this means no clubs, no hot body contests, no publicity stunts.
For her safety and for the sake of the entire Anthony family, Casey should lay low for a couple months, a year, or maybe even for the rest of her life. Just because it's hot right now doesn't mean it won't cool off later. People will either forget, forgive, or on.
The last thing she needs now is to provide the public with additional ammunition. So please, I beg of you, do not, I repeat do not: go on a media tour, write a book, make a made for TV movie, no prime time interviews (sorry to Matt Lauer), no posing for Playboy - nada, zilch, nothing.
Give us all some time to process what has transpired - and do the same for you.
3. Make amends with the flesh and blood
As the whole world now knows, she kind of threw her father and brother under the bus during the defense stage of her trial. Awkward to say the least. Whether or not these accusations are true, they have some major issues to work through.
This family, dysfunctional at best, on the verge of implosion at worst - is still her family. They may be the only ones she has - and if they take her in, well, that may be a miracle. For any hope of moving forward - it would be greatly beneficial for Anthony to begin with a sincere, heartfelt apology.
Mark Lippman, George and Cindy Anthony's attorney, said this:
"While the family may never know what has happened to Caylee Marie Anthony, they now have closure for this chapter of their life. They will now begin the long process of rebuilding."
Ummm - good luck with that.
4. Rehabilitate her image
Legal experts, media specialists, the general public - we all feel that Casey has lied and will likely continue to lie concerning the disappearance of her daughter.
Yours truly has been on record more than once analyzing her every move for evidence of deception. Casey's body language showed this during questioning, during her courthouse phone calls, and during the trial itself. I have looked at tape, listened to calls, and been asked to comment on the case by numerous media outlets. It's all there - the body blocking and the smoke screen tactics- all evidence of deception.
And what about Anthony's body language after hearing her verdict? Oy.
Listen, a smile is the universal expression of happiness - not an expression of despair. When a smile is present during a moment that is considered by most to be one fraught with stress, anxiety or sadness - it is a phenomenon known as "Duping Delight." We see this quite often with criminals - they smile at inappropriate times such as graphic depictions of the crime scene, damming character testimony or often during sentencing.
In Casey's case - she has remained stoic during the trial, with nearly no emotion shown at any time. As the verdict was handed down, this façade broke a bit - and we saw a smile, coupled with the furrowing of the brows (the eyebrows come in and down). This expression is a mix of sadness and happiness together - probably a fairly normal reaction.
The uncertainty here is what we cannot know if Casey is happy that she was found not-guilty of a crime she did not commit - or because she got away with murder.
However, even this reaction does not seem to match the magnitude of the circumstances. Look at her lawyers - they are crying, hugging emotional messes. Casey? Not so much.
One thing is for sure, she needs to start showing grief concerning Caylee - not merely being distraught or relieved over her time in the pokey.
For now, the rest remains unwritten.
We will have to wait and watch for Casey's next move.
And remember that at the center of it all are two little girls lost - Casey and Caylee.
Janine Driver is the New York Times Best Selling author of YOU SAY MORE THAN YOU THINK: A 7-Day Plan on Using the New Body Language to Get What You Want! Janine is also the CEO of the Body Language Institute, where she offers exclusive (only 14 students per class) 2 and 3-day courses in Body Language in Washington, DC (open to the public), call 202-216-2660 to save your seat.
Janine can be reached at http://www.janinedriver.com or you can follow her on Facebook: "Janine Driver" or by calling 202-216-2660, or here in the Psychology Today Blogs: YOU SAY MORE THAN YOU THINK.