George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin, is currently suing the late teen’s parents, family attorney, the attorney’s book publisher, and prosecutors who tried his case, as the Los Angeles Times reports.
In the lawsuit, Zimmerman claims that he was defamed when a witness was allowed to give a false testimony in an attempt to incriminate him.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday (Dec. 4), said a trial witness pretended to be the last person that had spoken with Martin via phone before he was killed by Zimmerman; the witness was actually the sister of the caller who talked to Martin.
Brittany Diamond Eugene didn’t want to testify that she had spoken to Martin prior to him being killed, so her sister, Rachel Jeantel, pretended that she chatted with the teen before he was fatally shot, according to the lawsuit.
In 2013, Jeantel testified at Zimmerman’s trial in Sanford, Fla. During a struggle with Zimmerman, Martin, a black teen, was killed. Zimmerman is biracial. His father is white and his mother is Latino. Zimmerman’s high-profile trial raised questions regarding race and Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law which allows residents to use force without retreating when they feel they are threatened.
The allegations made by Zimmerman were called “unfounded and reckless” by the Martin family’s lawyer Benjamin Crump, in a statement on Wednesday.
“This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, re-victimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions. 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,” Crump’s statement said. “This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.”
Larry Klayman, Zimmerman’s lawyer in the lawsuit, planned a news conference in South Flordia for Thursday (Dec. 5) to talk about the lawsuit which seeks $100 million and alleges malicious prosecution and conspiracy.
Klayman, a conservative activist, founded the watchdog group Judicial Watch. An ethics committee of the bar in the District of Columbia recommended that his law license be suspended for over two years.