ORLANDO, Fla. - George Anthony, whose daughter Casey Anthony was tried and found not guilty for killing her daughter, Caylee, is speaking publicly for the first time since a crash on I-4 that he said nearly killed him.
WFTV Channel 9 was first to report in November that George Anthony drove off I-4 westbound in Daytona Beach and flipped his wife Cindy’s Toyota 4-Runner.
Both George and Cindy Anthony sat down in their Orange County home for an interview on "The Dr. Oz Show." The interview revealed the severity of Anthony’s injuries. He also spoke openly about his daughter Casey.
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As he recovers, Anthony wears a 14-pound halo to stabilize his spine.
Oz asked Anthony if the crash was a suicide attempt.
“To be clear, this accident was not a cry for help,” Anthony responded. “I was on my way to see [my wife].”
In an exclusive interview with Casey Anthony’s father — following his near-fatal car accident — Dr. Oz asks the questions on everyone’s minds: Did he mean to take his own life, or did he have a seizure while driving? Has Casey reached out? pic.twitter.com/jiWSETC84v— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) January 14, 2019
A witness told Florida Highway Patrol that Anthony traveled off the right shoulder a few miles before the exit for SR-44 on Saturday, Nov. 24. Anthony tried to swerve back onto the roadway before losing control and overturning several times, traveling through the right, center and left lanes before coming to a rest off the median shoulder, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Anthony blamed the crash on a mechanical failure.
“I was just driving and I was in the right hand lane. I just felt a sudden jerk. Next thing you know I’m in the grass,” Anthony told Oz.
The airbag in Anthony's vehicle didn't inflate because the vehicle didn't strike anything, FHP said. Anthony, 67, suffered “incapacitating” injuries.
Previous coverage: George Anthony seriously injured in I-4 rollover crash, FHP says
Anthony also told Oz that the crash gave him new perspective on the relationship with his daughter.
The Anthony family was thrown into the national spotlight a decade ago when the Orlando couple’s granddaughter, Caylee, disappeared. The 3-year-old girl, who lived with her mother and grandparents, was last seen in June 2008. Cindy Anthony reported her missing a month later.
The couple’s daughter, Casey, was arrested on suspicion of child neglect, telling police that a babysitter took the child.
In December 2008, a utility worker found Caylee’s remains near Chickasaw Trail, not far from where the Anthonys live. Casey Anthony later said her daughter drowned on the day she disappeared.
Eventually, Casey Anthony was found not guilty. During the long, high-profile trial George Anthony was found in a Daytona Beach hotel room and placed on psychiatric hold after saying he did not want to live anymore.
Last week, WFTV Channel 9 was the first to report the Anthonys’ attorney asked a judge to postpone the foreclosure trial on their Orlando home, according to court documents. The trial was supposed to start March 1.
In the interview with Dr. Oz, George Anthony said he forgives his daughter after years of saying he didn't want to see his again.
"What would you forgive her for?” Oz asked.
“For what she has put her mom, me, and my son through,” Anthony said. “And also for not having Caylee here anymore. I would forgive her for all this stuff."
Anthony told Oz he hasn’t seen Casey but she has reached out to see find out how he is doing. Casey Anthony lives in Palm Beach, Florida, and speaks to her mother on occasion, but has no contact with her father, according to reports.
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THE CASEY ANTHONY CASE:
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- Read the 8-Page Suicide Letter From George Anthony
- Justice will be served by 'judge of judges,' says Casey Anthony trial Judge Perry
- Central Florida Spotlight: Ten years since Casey Anthony
- WATCH: Attorney describes what it was like to represent Casey Anthony
- WATCH: Casey Anthony talks about case for the first time
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