I have a confession: I’m pretty pop culture obsessed. Although I’ve drastically cut back on my TMZ and US Weekly consumption, I pretty much always know what’s going on in the celebrity world.
Whenever I go visit my friends in Manhattan, I’m ALWAYS on the look-out for celebrities. I’m not saying this with pride, but it’s the truth. I love me some good celebrity gossip.
In my previous life, I worked for a major network in Washington, D.C. That job, and my high-profile boss, brought me face to face with presidents, major Hollywood celebrities and the inner circles of the Washington power scene. Sure, I was star-struck at times, but these encounters all occurred in professional settings so it was easy to keep my cool.
Living in Orlando, we don’t have many opportunities to see famous people. For the most part, our glitterati is made up exclusively of professional athletes. I’ve seen Shaq at Target, Charles Barkley at a mall and Lakers player Pau Gasol at a restaurant. All three events were exciting but not that big of a deal.
Tonight, however, I saw two of the most famous faces in recent history in the most unlikely of places. And I’m not going to lie — I was a little freaked out by it.
My husband’s poker buddies asked us if we wanted to go to Monkey Joe’s tonight, an indoor bouncehouse playground. It’s always a madhouse there — crazy children running around and bouncing off every squishy surface. Exhibit A.
And, as always, there were at least three birthday parties being held. As we were taking turns tracking E. from bouncehouse to bouncehouse to suicidal mega-slide, DadJovi suddenly spotted Orlando’s most notorious residents (well, now that Tiger has left town) out of the corner of his eye.
He comes rushing over. “You’ll never guess who is here.” I immediately start clicking through a checklist of random people in our life he might be referring to. “No, LOOK!” There, across the room, were the two most (in)famous grandparents on the planet —
In case you can’t tell through the blur, that’s George and Cindy Anthony. Yes, Casey’s parents and Caylee’s grandparents.
Holy crap. They were pretty much the last two people I would have expected to see at Monkey Joe’s (OK, Casey is probably THE last person I’d expect to see there. And I’m pretty sure she was not there in incognito. Believe me, I looked around).
Honestly, I could not stop staring. I think I was pretty discreet about it since parents are always scanning the room making sure their child hasn’t broken an arm or something. Seeing George and Cindy there, however, just seemed so odd and so out of place.
I debated even taking a picture of them. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. As a journalist, my first instinct was, “Of course I should, especially considering the newsworthiness of today.” (Judge Perry ruled today to release the jailhouse video of Casey being told that remains — that would eventually be determined to be Caylee’s — had been found in the woods near her home).
But it definitely felt a bit icky.
And then my mood swung again, and I remembered ALL of the (paid) media interviews they have done over the past several years, including their recent (paid, sorry, allegedly paid) three-day Dr. Phil extravaganza. So, yeah, I was snapping their picture. I did it in an instant, from across the room (hence its blurriness) and I doubt anyone even saw me click it.
The bottom line is: they are public figures. Sure, they’re not celebrities in the traditional sense, but I’d be willing to bet that you’d be hard-pressed to find 10 people in this country who have not heard of them.
I don’t know why I was so surprised to see them. I mean, they DO live in my town, so it was likely to happen eventually, right? But after eating, sleeping and breathing the Casey Anthony saga for so many years, it was certainly surreal to suddenly see them there, 6 feet away, enjoying a child’s birthday party.
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever seen? Did you take a picture? Would you? As I’ve been thinking about this, I’d like to think that I wouldn’t take a picture of a celebrity’s child, for example (although I’d really want a picture of Suri). And I know I wouldn’t take a picture of someone who is famous because of some tragedy or crime committed against them. The Anthonys fall into a gray area, but I again go back to their constant willingness to put themselves out there in the public eye. What would you have done?
I don’t think you were out of line to take the photo. They *are* public figures. They invite it, and I imagine they’re quite accustomed to having no privacy by now.
I have to say the thing that surprises me the most is that they weren’t being approached at all. Certainly they have nothing on Casey, but there seems to be a healthy dose of animosity out there for them as well. I’m not suggesting they should close themselves up in the house and discontinue their lives, but it strikes me as bold to be out in such a kid centered place.
I guess I’m talking from both sides of my mouth…I do think the legal process is over and they should be allowed to have lives, but I guess I might be more reluctant to just go back to business as usual that way. Maybe the issue is that I’m trying to apply what I consider to be normal human reactions and behaviors to a very unconventional family.
All that aside, I would be 100%, completely weirded out. And I’d take a picture too.
I was about 6 inches, tops, away from both Cindy & George Anthony when I attended Caylee’s 6th Birthday Memorial on Surburban Drive. I was so tempted to give both of them a piece of my mind, and in fact, did say to George when we passed each other shoulder to shoulder, looking him straight in the eye “Shame, George, Shame”. It literally sickened me to see people at Caylee’s 6th Birthday Memorial pawing over both George & Cindy Anthony as if they were indeed Hollywood Celebrities. It was a WTF moment for me as I wondered IF those people understood that if it weren’t for Cindy Anthony & George Anthony’s lies both under Oath and not that could very well have been the reason why the Not Guilty verdict was reached by the Jurors and Casey walks free today. The NOT GUILTY verdict imo was not arrived at based on the evidence presented by the State of Florida, that’s for sure. Oh, and I did snap pictures of them, a number of pictures in fact, but not because I thought they were of any importance, just to have, just in case.
Carolina @ Peas in a Blog says
Ha, can’t believe you bumped into them, too funny. I went to Sundance Film Festival a couple of years ago & saw a gazillion famous people, I snuck pictures of the ones I could. Among my favorite pics, Ryan Gosling — that man is gorgeous 🙂
I sure don’t blame you for taking the photo. I would have been hard pressed not to run out of the building screaming.
CA looks like she’s about 7 mos. Say it ain’t so. Is that a sign she’s holding? Is it a fraudation donation sign? Did they let her display it? Is that lady in black talking to them?
Thanks for the pic!!
I see nothing wrong with taking a picture. the Anthony’s want the attention..KAAA CHING!
it doesn’t feel right that they be in a place that cater’s to children. i can’t believe nobody spoke up about that. IMO i do not think they harmed Caylee, i think George and Cindy were Caylee’s “safe place” where Caylee came first and they seen to it that all her mental and physical needs were met. they gave her the unconditional love every kid needs. they played the role because Casey refused to do so. my problem with this picture is, what they did after the fact. they lied and covered for their Daughter. they tried to protect a murderer. the crime was to a minor child and they covered for the real murderer. and with that there should be a consequence. knowing that they refuse to admit their fault send red flags when seeing them amongst other Children, i feel they should be on some kind of list to limit or supervise when with children. as far as Casey, she definately needs to be put on a list that she no longer can have contact with any child.
I think it is absolutely disgusting that these people get any respectable attention at all. They should not even be treated with any respect. They didn’t love Caylee at all except to use her death as a means to make money. They have no shame and they still lie and support their lazy sociopath daughter who lays around and drinks everyday. These people created foundations that facts have backed up that they took 80% of the money donated. What are they doing that is positive….NOTHING!They are as low class as it gets. They are arrogant liars and thieves. They even hide behind God to push their agenda about making money off Caylee’s horrible murder. I hope they all burn in hell.They are not celebs I would not have wasted my time taking their picture because that just feeds their egos.