By Barbara Liston
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A YouTube video going viral on Thursday shows an optimistic Casey Anthony speaking out about her life for the first time since she was found not guilty last summer of killing her daughter Caylee in Florida.
"It's just a little surreal how much things have changed since July and how many things haven't changed," said Anthony, 25, in the four-minute recording made in October that she described as the first installment of her video diary.
Sporting short, blond hair and dark-rimmed glasses in a rare appearance since she went into hiding after the high-profile trial that gripped the nation and outraged many because the not-guilty verdict came despite convincing evidence, she tells of adopting a dog and using a new computer to combat loneliness.
"But the good thing is that things are starting to look up and things are starting to change in a good way. I just hope they stay, things stay good and they only get better."
Calls and email requests from Reuters to several of Anthony's lawyers to confirm her identity on the YouTube video were not returned. But her lawyer Cheney Mason verified to the Orlando Sentinel the woman in the footage was indeed his client.
Mason told the newspaper Anthony was "maintaining some notes for her personal use and for future counseling purposes" and that she had not released the video. The attorney said its publication was "unauthorized," "inappropriate" and under investigation.
A lawyer for Anthony's parents, George and Cindy, said they had concerns after learning of the video diary on Thursday.
"They are concerned that the release of this video or any future videos could endanger their daughter," lawyer Mark Lippman said in a statement. "Cindy and George hope that Casey remains safe wherever she may be."
Anthony's whereabouts have been kept secret by the court for her safety while she serves a one-year probation on check fraud charges.
In the video, her blond hair and glasses contrast with the long, brunette hair she wore during her six-week trial in Orlando. She is sitting in an office chair in a plain paneled room with Venetian blinds, giving no indication of her location.
Anthony never mentions her six-week trial or her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, who prosecutors said was dead for a month before Anthony told anyone the toddler was missing in 2008. She spent two years in jail before the trial.
She is appealing her convictions on four counts of lying to detectives about what happened to Caylee.
Anthony talks about the possibility of getting off probation early in time for her birthday in March and about her solitary life being enriched by the ability to speak on camera.
"This has just been such blessing in so many ways that now I have someone to talk to when I'm by myself so I'm not bothering the poor dog that I've adopted, that I love," she said.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)