In a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday, via their attorney, Cindy and George Anthony said their daughter was dragging them back to a tragic period in their lives from which they had tried to “move forward.”
“After years of silence, Casey Anthony has decided to complete an interview and has once again pointed to George Anthony, her father, as a suspect in the disappearance and death of his granddaughter, Caylee,” Casey’s parents said in their statement.
“George, who has continued to try and move forward from this tragedy and who was vindicated on multiple occasions, is once again forced to relive the hints, rumors, lies and allegations that are being made by Casey Anthony,” the statement continued. “He has specifically stated that ‘his heart hurts even more now.’ ”
Casey’s relationship with her family is tumultuous. During her murder trial, her attorneys accused George of molesting her beginning when she was 8 years old — which he angrily denied on the stand. Casey’s defense team also claimed George helped cover-up Caylee’ death after she accidentally drowned, a theory both George and prosecutors dismissed.
George has never been charged in connection with Caylee’s death.
Casey broke her silence with an Associated Press interview, published Tuesday, in which she addressed her daughter’s death for the first time since her acquittal.
Casey was not quoted in the AP’s story accusing her father of anything, but she appeared to tie him to the case while defending herself.
“Cops believe other cops,” she told the AP. “Cops tend to victimize the victims. … Cops lie to people every day. I’m just one of the unfortunate idiots who admitted they lied.
“My dad was a cop, you can read into that what you want to.”
The AP asked Casey about her attorneys’ previous claims that Caylee drowned.
“Everyone has their theories, I don’t know,” she said. Then she added, obliquely, “The last time I saw my daughter, I believed she was alive and was going to be okay, and that’s what was told to me.”
While the Anthony family briefly reconciled after her acquittal, the relationship soon fractured again. According to several sources, Casey has not spoken to her family in more than a year.
In 2012, when Casey was living at a church in South Florida, she spoke with her mother frequently — but as time went on, those conversations became less and less frequent.
“This family has had struggles for a very long time, and all of them have processed it in their own way,” a source close to the situation tells PEOPLE. “There is a lot of regret, I think on both sides. I know that George and Cindy have been devastated to lose their daughter in the way that they have. They hope for a reconciliation someday.”