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Casey Anthony to be Served with Defamation Suit

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on May 23, 2012 6:01 AM

Casey Anthony, the Florida mom convicted of lying to police as they investigated the death of her 2-year-old daughter, is set to be served with a defamation lawsuit.

Anthony has been in hiding since a jury acquitted her of murder, manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse in July 2011. But investigators for a woman named Zenaida Gonzalez tracked Anthony down, The Huffington Post reports.

Gonzalez is suing Anthony for allegedly ruining her life with a sordid lie, but she had trouble finding Anthony in order to serve a subpoena. A judge's ruling changed that.

The judge ruled last week that Casey Anthony's attorney must accept service on Anthony's behalf, or Anthony would have to release her address to be served, Orlando's WFTV reports.

Given those options, Anthony's lawyer said he would accept the subpoena for his client. Formal service is expected later this week.

The Casey Anthony defamation lawsuit stems from a lie that Anthony told investigators: that a woman named "Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez" kidnapped her missing daughter, who was later found deceased.

"Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez" was a made-up name for a non-existent person, Anthony later admitted. But a woman with the similar name of Zenaida Gonzalez does exist, and claims she's been subject to ill treatment because of Anthony's lie.

In a defamation case, a victim must generally prove there was a false and defamatory statement about her, and that the statement was made to at least one other person. Gonzalez must also prove Anthony acted negligently in making the false statements.

In Anthony's defense, her lawyer emphasizes the fake name "Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez" is not an exact match for the real Zenaida Gonzalez. Casey Anthony may even apologize to Gonzalez for the unfortunate coincidence, Anthony's lawyer told WFTV.

That's the least of what Zenaida Gonzalez is hoping to get from her Casey Anthony defamation suit. A trial date is set for January.

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