Published January 18, 2013
On July 5, 2011, a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murdering her daughter Caylee. Now Lifetime is taking a detailed look at the case with the made-for-TV movie “Prosecuting Casey Anthony.” Rob Lowe plays Jeff Ashton, the Florida prosecutor in the case and author of the book, ‘Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey,’ upon which the movie is based. Lowe was also the executive producer for the movie. Lowe, 48, spoke to FOX411 about the case and his thoughts on running for office.
FOX411: So I assume you followed the trial.
Rob Lowe: I watch probably more cable news than is healthy, more than any human being. I watch Fox and CNN. I go back and forth from both of them, so if you watched any cable news you couldn’t avoid the trial. I had what I consider a working knowledge of the trial but I didn’t watch the actual trial.
FOX411: Were you outraged by the verdict?
Lowe: I was shocked by the verdict like I think 99% of people were, but then when I dug into the minutiae of the trial and the behind the scenes of the trial there was so much that went on that I was unaware of, that was shocking to me.
Lowe: Some of the evidence that made it in, some of the evidence that didn’t make it in. Jose Baez explaining away Casey’s lying for 31 days because she was a liar because she was molested without never ever even attempting to prove that in court. There were so many things that were amazing in this trial that I thought it would make a great behind the scenes movie.
FOX411: Why do you think the jury acquitted?
Lowe: Jeff Ashton has a great quote that I say. In his 30 years of being a prosecutor he had never come across a jury more anxious to assume facts favorable to a defendant without any proof. I think that’s what’s fun about the movie. People will debate this question. For the life of me if I had an answer I’d love to tell it to you. I have no earthly clue but when you really walk a mile in these prosecutors’ shoes I do think it gives you a different perspective on the case and maybe it will give some people who watch it an answer to that question.
FOX411: Did making the movie make you feel differently about the legal system?
Lowe: One of the things that was interesting was that this was the first case in the era of Twitter, and I don’t think that is insignificant. There’s always been public opinion. Public opinion has been around since before electricity but now you have public opinion coalesce in 25 minutes, and it spreads expediently so when you’re trying to get a jury that has no opinion, really you’re looking at two types of people. People living under a rock and you go, ‘Ok do I want someone who’s living under a rock deciding my fate?’ or someone who has heard all of the information and still has no opinion. So a lot of this is jury selection in the day and age where everything is out in the open.
FOX411: You used to be an ardent Democrat but now you’ve shifted.
Lowe: Yeah I’m a registered Independent. You look at the great centrists and they have all been drummed out of the process by the primaries. I don’t know if there’s a lot of room anymore for the centrists and the deal makers and the consensus builders. That’s where I always thought the best work could be done for our country for sure.
FOX411: Would you ever consider running?
Lowe: I love the idea of public service and I love the idea of giving back to a country that I love but I’m not sure in this climate, this divisive, partisan climate that frankly there is a whole lot of room for consensus builders. It’s so partisan.
FOX411: You know when you were younger you were too handsome for your own good?
Lowe: (Laughs) I’ve been told. I think I say in my book [“Stories I Only Tell my Friends”] when I look back at pictures of myself at 19 I understand now why a lot of people didn’t take me seriously. I probably wouldn’t have either.
“Prosecuting Casey Anthony” premieres on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.