UPDATED: Sources at all of the big three broadcast networks are hotly denying a TMZ report that they’re all offering money to score an interview with acquitted murder trial defendant Casey Anthony. “Not a damn nickel,” insisted a CBS News source in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, which rounded up reactions to the TMZ story here. The networks all confirmed, however, that various bookers for their news and talk shows have met with Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, but they insist money was not part of the negotiations.
PREVIOUSLY: Casey “Not Guilty” Anthony may not be in hiding for much longer. Her lawyer Jose Baez is reportedly holed up in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City negotiating a “big price tag” interview for his notorious client.
That’s according to TMZ, which reports that Baez is in talks with three major networks who are jockeying for the first major interview with “Tot Mom.”
Apparently, NBC, ABC and CBS are in the running, with NBC reportedly the frontrunner. TMZ also claims Baez spent Thursday night in the hotel bar with famed attorney Mark Geragos (he’s defended such troubled celebs as Michael Jackson and Winona Ryder) getting pointers on negotiating the best deal.
All three networks, however, were quick to deny the report, most likely because “paying” for these kinds of high-profile interviews is a no-no. They often skirt the issue by not doling out dough outright, but by paying in the form of “offering to license photos and other material.” But network sources claim they want no part of a booking war involving Anthony.
“The report is untrue,” an ABC News source tells The Hollywood Reporter. “If there is a bidding war, ABC News is not and will not be part of it.”
NBC says they’ll be playing by-the-book, if at all. “We’ve talked with Baez about getting an interview with Casey Anthony, but only under NBC News standards and conditions: no payment, and absolutely no job offers for members of her defense team,” said an NBC News spokesperson.
CBS News is also distancing themselves from the free-for-all. “CBS News is not offering and will not offer to license any materials from Casey Anthony,” a CBS News spokesperson said. “Not a damn nickel,” added a network exec.