George Zimmerman has filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million from the family of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager he fatally shot in 2012, and others involved in the case.
Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter after he shot Martin when they got into an altercation after Zimmerman followed him from a store.
On Wednesday, Zimmerman filed a lawsuit against Martin’s family, their attorney Ben Crump, Crump’s book publisher, and the prosecutors in the case, his attorney Larry Klayman said in a news release.
The lawsuit alleges “the prosecution's key witness in his 2013 murder trial, Rachel Jeantel, was an imposter and fake witness,” the release said. “Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump produced a recorded audio tape of ‘Diamond Eugene’ whom he said was Trayvon's 16-year-old girlfriend who was on the phone with Trayvon just before the altercation. However, two weeks later, 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel, the alleged imposter, appeared before prosecutors claiming to be ‘Diamond Eugene’ and provided false statements to incriminate Zimmerman based on coaching from others.”
The statement said that this was newly discovered evidence just published in a documentary called “The Trayvon Hoax.”
But the South Florida Sun-Sentinel points out that Jeantel told the court during the trial that she had signed her name as Diamond Eugene in a letter to Martin’s mother.
Martin’s family rips lawsuit:
Crump issued a statement on behalf of Martin’s family blasting the lawsuit.
“I have every confidence that this unfounded and reckless lawsuit will be revealed for what it is -- another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others,” the statement said.
“The plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing 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,” it continued. “This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.”
Suit also invokes others in the case:
“The defendants include those who allegedly either have been proven to know about the switch to the imposter witness, such as Trayvon's mother and 2020 Miami-Dade Commission candidate Sybrina Fulton, and others such as Tracy Martin, attorney Benjamin Crump, Florida prosecutors Bernie de la Rionda, John Guy, Angela Corey, the State of Florida, and FDLE - all of whom are alleged to either have known about or should have known about the witness fraud, obstructed justice, or lied repeatedly under oath in order to cover up their knowledge of the witness fraud,” Klayman claimed in a statement.