George Zimmerman has filed a $100 million lawsuit in Florida against Trayvon Martin’s family, their attorneys, prosecutors, and a book publishing company, alleging they’re responsible for years worth of defamation and harassment.
Zimmerman, 36, filed the civil suit on Wednesday in Polk County. Larry Klayman, a prominent conservative activist and former U.S. Justice Department prosecutor, is representing the once-accused killer.
The then-neighborhood watch volunteer claimed he was defending himself when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin in Sanford in February 2012. He was ultimately acquitted in the 17-year-old’s shooting death, sparking international outrage and criticism of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
The high-profile trial caused Zimmerman to drop out of school, receive death threats, and suffer “great mental anguish, resulting in Zimmerman requiring professional treatment by psychologists for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and weight gain,” the lawsuit stated.
Zimmerman’s recently-filed lawsuit lists multiple defendants, including Martin’s mother and father, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin; the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump; the prosecution’s star witness, Rachel Jeantel; Brittany Diamond Eugene; and HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C.
Calling her an “imposter and fake witness,” Klayman said in a statement that Jeantel not only lied about her nickname being “Diamond Eugene,” but she lied about being on the phone with Trayvon Martin in the moments leading up to his death.
“The research also allegedly reveals that Trayvon’s real girlfriend and legitimate phone witness was, in fact, Miami resident Brittany Diamond Eugene, who was switched out for Jeantel when Eugene refused to bear false witness against Zimmerman,” Klayman commented.
Zimmerman’s lawsuit also alleged that Crump and HarperCollins maliciously defamed him in Crump’s book, “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People,” which was released in October.
Alleging “malicious prosecution,” Zimmerman is also suing the prosecutors who unsuccessfully tried him years earlier, Bernie De La Rionda and John Guy, former Florida State’s Attorney Angela Corey, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the State of Florida.
Klayman said they are seeking in excess of $100 million dollars because the defendants perpetuated lies which could have resulted in Zimmerman’s “wrongful” life imprisonment.
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[Featured image: George Zimmerman/Seminole County Sheriff’s Office; Trayvon Martin/Facebook]