In a strange twist, the trustee in Casey Anthony’s bankruptcy case has filed a motion to sell the rights to her story so Anthony can pay her debts.
According to the Tampa Tribune, Anthony’s bankruptcy trustee, Stephen Meininger, asked Judge K. Rodney May for permission to sell the “exclusive worldwide rights” of Anthony’s life story. Anthony, 26, lives in hiding and still receives threats since she was acquitted in 2011 of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, according to her attorneys.
Anthony filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tampa in February, listing 80 creditors, with debts mostly related to legal, medical, psychiatric and forensics services stemming from her murder trial. She is also a defendant in several civil lawsuits. Anthony’s bankruptcy paperwork listed $1,000 in assets and $792,000 in debts.
Meininger told the court that Anthony’s story has value and should be auctioned off—saying one person offered to pay $10,000 for book rights so he could prevent Anthony from profiting off her daughter’s death. “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 said. A New York publisher told the Tribune that the story could be worth seven figures.
This is an unusual request by the trustee, but it would not be surprising if a judge were to allow it. Chapter 7 bankruptcies typically result in the discharge of unsecured debts like credit card debt and medical bills; however, there are some non-dischargeable debts including criminal restitution, court fees and government-imposed fines and penalties. $500,000 of Anthony’s debt is reported to be attorney fees, which could potentially be paid through the sale of her book rights. However, it is unlikely that Anthony will be cable to discharge all of her debts, as many seem to fall into the non-dischargeable categories.
Regardless of how you personally feel about Anthony, a bankruptcy can help you if you are facing the threat of bill collectors. Contact our Washington DC and Maryland bankruptcy lawyer to learn more about whether you should file bankruptcy.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd
Judd’s Judgment: A trustee is the individual in charge of administering a bankruptcy estate during a filing.