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December 4, 2011


what’s in a name? Not “Fernandez”

by Andrea O'Connell

I haven’t completely lost interest in the ongoing fallout from the Casey Anthony murder trial, which resulted in the surprising Not Guilty verdict earlier this year.   Every now and then I get sucked back into the newsy-ness of the remaining civil lawsuits against Casey Anthony.

I’m particularly interested in the defamation lawsuit that Zenaida Gonzalez has brought against Casey via the prominent Orlando law firm, Morgan & Morgan.  This lawsuit is becoming ugly as a result of Anthony defense attorney Charles Greene’s public statements that demean Zenaida Gonzalez quite badly.

Initially, Zenaida Gonzalez never signed up for being dragged into a national media maelstrom.  It appears now she is enjoying the lime light.

For the first few days of the case, as the supposed nanny, she’d been under the microscope of the media as a potential suspect in the disappearance of Caylee.  But, in no way was she a lasting suspect, nor was her involvement a theory in the case because the police were pretty secure about Casey’s involvement.  After all, before you could say Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, Casey was behind bars.

These images come up with the search of Zenaida Fernandez Gonalez

It all started in July 2008 when Casey Anthony blamed her “Nanny,” a Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, as the one responsible for absconding with her daughter, the adorable Caylee Marie Anthony.

Caylee  was about a month shy of her third birthday when her mother, Casey, went on the lam for 31 days without so much of a mention that anything untoward had happened to her daughter.  When Casey needed a cover-story for Caylee’s whereabouts, she made up the Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez kidnapping story. We found out soon afterwards that story was a fantasy and Casey knew where her daughter was but refused to share any information.

As we know now, Caylee was already deceased while her mother partied, stole from friends she was living with, and basically thought she’d finally found “the Good Life” or, Bella Vita, as she had tattooed on her back.

When Casey told the police that her nanny, Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, had taken Caylee 31 days ago, the Detective assigned to the case immediately followed up.

The Detective learned that a Zenaida Gonzalez had filled out a guest card at the Sawgrass Apartments where Casey claimed Zenaida lived and where shed’ dropped Caylee off into Zenaida’s care.    The police interviewed the Zenaida who’d filled out that  Sawgrass Apartments guest card.  It was an odd coincidence that Zenaida had visited Sawgrass Apartments where Casey claimed she’d often left Caylee.

Zenaida denied knowing Casey.  And, Casey, when shown a picture of this Zenaida Gonzalez, claimed she was not her nanny.

Sooooo, what’s the fuss, you might be thinking.  Well, Zenaida was wrongly portrayed as a potential kidnapper and was in the glare of the media.  And that, she claims, harmed her reputation and defamed her in the public.

The irony is she is now in the glare of the cameras constantly.  Had she remained in the shadows, her name would have been forgotten within a week of when the police cleared her as a suspect – which they had done immediately, I might add.

But, we’re only human and Zenaida was looking at her chance appearance in the over-sensationalized Anthony case, as a cash cow.

When she hires the law firm Morgan and Morgan (who have a big reputation and bigger voices), they dove into the story and fast.

Morgan and Morgan had a grand time inserting themselves into the media driven soap-opera that had become a circus of many characters and clowns.

It never seemed to be about justice for Zenaida Gonalez.  (But, it was a good bit of media attention for her and her lawyers.)

When they (Morgan and Morgan), video-taped George, Cindy and Lee Anthony’s depositions and released them to the media, it was a gold mine for them – the videos made the national news, and so did Morgan.  The Anthony family was not at all liked by the populace and they were recalcitrant and harsh in the video depositions which made Morgan and Morgan smell like a garden of roses.

Fast forward to 2011 and the same Zenaida Gonzalez lawsuit is full steam ahead, but seemingly getting derailed by their own hubris.

Now we find out that this Zenaida Gonzalez does not have “Fernandez” in her name.  Well, her lawyers used Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez in the civil lawsuit against Casey Anthony…. and no one corrected the media that she was not Fernandez-Gonzalez either.  Everyone was led to believe that her full name was Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.

Is that deceitful?  If not, it is curious.

Zenaida Gonzalez now says she doesn’t know why her lawyers put that name on the lawsuit.  Could it be they thought their suit might get more attention if the names matched?

Zenaida claims she got unwanted attention as a result of being interviewed by the authorities in connection with this case, though she was never charged with anything.  And now she is saying she wants an apology from Anthony.  And now she claims that she wasn’t fired from her job – she quit her job.

The Casey Anthony case has always been about band-wagons – jumping on the band-wagon for the attention, payout, notoriety and national media attention.

Back in September, 2008, Zenaida filed her law-suit and shortly after appeared on Good Morning America (GMA), to announce it to the nation.

Her lawyer, John Morgan, was on the GMA show as well.  Neither blinked when they referred to Zenaida using the middle name “Fernandez” as you can see in this ABC news story:

Though Fernandez-Gonzalez was cleared by police, she said she lost her job, cannot find an apartment and received threats from Anthony supporters. She filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against Anthony.

Fernandez-Gonzalez, a 37-year-old mother of six, said today on “Good Morning America” that she looked at an apartment and filled out a form at the complex where Anthony said she dropped off Caylee before she disappeared.

“I just went to look at an apartment and filled out an information card,” Fernandez-Gonzalez said in an exclusive interview today with “GMA.” “My suspicion is they probably gave her [Anthony] the information from the card.”   The card included the names of two of her daughters and the make and color of her car, which is the same information that Anthony gave the police, said Fernandez-Gonzalez and her attorney John Morgan.  Link to GMA Story:  click here.

In every story and every appearance I have seen in relation to the civil law suit, the name Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, is referred to.

The Anthony’s knew this and they tried to point it out during their humiliating video-deposition in the civil lawsuit.  No one really listened at the time.

I wonder if anyone is listening to the latest bits of intrigue?

Take a peek at these stories:

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 5 2011

    Hi Andrea!
    You’ve provided some information that I wasn’t aware of (maybe because I don’t follow the ZFG vs. CA closely). Had no idea that Fernandez was not part of ZG’s legal name! And that she quit her job, rather than having been fired…didn’t know that, either. Huh. I’m not crazy about the “dirt” that CA’s attorneys are digging up and airing about ZG, but it was bound to happen.

    This is just a feeling I have, but I don’t think ZG will win her case. I just don’t. I do understand how being thrown into the mix in the beginning would cause some stress/anger/anxiety/embarrassment/anguish, etc. But I just don’t think she will prevail in this suit. I guess the big thing for me is back when CA was shown a photo of ZG, CA said that the woman in that photo was not her nanny. But then, it flips back to what ZG was put thru even before CA cleared her as being the nanny. If I understand the suit, this is what it is based on.

    I did catch that part in Cindy’s depo where she pointed out that Fernandez was not part of ZG’s name. I remember thinking at the time ‘hhmm…she makes a good point there.’

    On the other hand, I have a feeling that Tim Miller stands a very good chance of winning a case against CA. Thanks to Mr. Baez’s opening statement, clearly stating that CA knew that Caylee was dead even as TES was draining their funds to search for a “kidnapped” child. I just don’t see how CA and her attorney/s will wiggle out of that one. JMO, of course.

    • Dec 8 2011

      HI Kitt!

      I wasn’t aware of the name issue, either. And I swear I’d heard that she’d lost her job, hence the desperation. But, that’s not the case at all. I wonder if they purposely led the media and the public into believing that was true – to make the story better in the press and for the public’s consumption?

      I really don’t like that CA’s attorney is playing dirty pool – it’s very cruel. However, he knows the sympathy is not with his client in the public arena…. but, then again, it’s the courtroom that matters…. Makes me think that this case is not going anywhere. It may stall before it even begins. I doubt she’ll win, too. Something tells me that Morgan and Morgan, aside from the favorable publicity they’re receiving, really wants to score the first “interview” i.e. the “deposition.”

      It’s just so whacko! I think Tim Miller should have a pretty decent chance, too. After all, Baez has to stick to the drowning story even though it’s so far from reality…. They dug that ditch they now find themselves in.

      Oh, and by the way! It’s pretty interesting that Baez has another murder case which was featured in a recent 48 Hours show. This client allegedly killed his girlfriend in Aruba… after he took out a huge insurance policy on her. What a coincidence! The boyfriend and Baez claim the woman drowned…. there are all kinds of strange and unbelievable aspects to that case, too.

      The show, 48 Hours, made it pretty clear they don’t believe it was drowning, rather murder is the more likely scenario.

  2. Dec 8 2011

    Good post on the ZG tip. My new name for her is, “Zenaida Non-Fernandez-Gonzalez”. LOL ;).

    It is just so irresponsible the way the media and LE/Attorneys keep messing w/her name! As you said, this woman was CLEARED long ago, by Casey’s own words. She was NEVER a match to the 25 yr old, Tattoo-LESS, child-LESS, Sawgrass resident, named as Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez who had a mother named Gloria and a father named Victor.

    Sure, all the crazies out there took whatever the MEDIA fed them and went on an angry rampage after whoever might have kidnapped this little girl, but if ZG had stayed in the shadows like all the other hundreds of ZG’s did, then she would never have found herself in that position. ZG should be suing the MEDIA if she feels the need to sue anyone. The whole thing is just absurd.

    • Dec 8 2011

      Hi CatOutLoud! thanks for your feedback! I’m glad I am not alone in feeling like this story is beyond the pale. The fact is, if anything this Zenaida is probably better off now than she ever was, and she certainly doesn’t mind the media one bit! Morgan and Morgan have done pretty well for themselves, too, with this case.

      The only thing I hope will happen though – and this may seem really cheesy, but I would love to see CA answer questions in this lawsuit. I think that would be fascinating…. If not, I just hope she stays away and goes about whatever life she has left…. Maybe each juror will babysit her for a few years… they deserve it,.

  3. Dec 13 2011

    I thought bio mom did say the nanny’s name was “Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez” in a jail house phone call when talking to her bio mom. I hope they bury bio mom and show her the same respect that she bestowed upon Caylee. No one dreamed the low-life would get away with murder so maybe Zenaida will win. I hope so. I hope bio mom is forced to answer questions but I doubt she will ever tell the truth – ever.


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