George Zimmerman is back in the news this week.
The former neighborhood watchman acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is now suing the teen’s family, their attorney, and other involved parties for $100 million.
Zimmerman claims that he was the victim of a conspiracy and that the defendants cited in the suit “have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other legal rights.”
At the center of the claim is the belief that the prosecution’s key witness in the 2013 trial was an “imposter and fake witness.” Moreover, that local and state prosecutors coached the woman, identified as Rachel Jeantel, into giving false and incriminating testimony against Zimmerman.
The Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, slammed the lawsuit as “another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others.”
“This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions,” Crump said in a statement. “He would have us believe that he is the innocent victim of a deep conspiracy, despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims. This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.”
The evidence that Ms. Jeantel was an imposter comes from author and filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who wrote the book and produced the documentary, of the same title, “The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud That Divided America.”
Here’s the trailer for the film:
As you’ll see, Gilbert claims to have tracked down the “real witness,” Brittany Diamond Eugene, who was allegedly on the phone with Trayvon during his encounter with Zimmerman.
Apparently, Ms. Eugene is the half-sister of Jeantel, and when she refused to bear false witness, investigators prepared Jeantel to take her place on the stand, says Gilbert.
I’m not too eager to jump down this rabbit hole. Seems to me that everyone involved in this case is out to make a buck, from Zimmerman, who not only filed this lawsuit but also sold the gun he used to defend himself against Travyon for $138,000, to Benjamin Crump, who recently released his own book “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People” via HarperCollins, to the Martin Family, who started the Trayvon Martin Foundation, to the filmmaker who wrote the book and made the documentary.
That said, if you’re interested in taking that leap, a good place to start is this interview (see below) Gilbert did with FocusToday in September. Gilbert elaborates on his findings and why he decided to tell this side of the story.
As for the fate of the lawsuit, much will depend on the cooperation of the witnesses involved in the case. If Ms. Eugene and Ms. Jeantel come forward and corroborate Gilbert’s findings, Zimmerman may be in for a big payday.