Robert Zimmerman Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman, the parents of George Zimmerman, have filed a lawsuit against Roseanne Barr for posting the address to their home on Twitter in 2012. Barr posted the address after it appeared that Zimmerman wasn’t going to be arrested in the slaying of Trayvon Martin and wanted to let people know where Zimmerman was staying. While the lawsuit doesn’t list the specific amount the Zimmermans are suing for, it does say they are suing for damages “in excess of $15,000.”
After the news of Zimmerman killing the unarmed teenager without being arrested made national headlines, many people, including celebrities, used social media outlets to express their outrage over the situation. Some celebrities took things too far by posting personal information, which some believe was an effort to incite vigilante justice. Spike Lee was one celebrity who retweeted an address he thought belonged to George Zimmerman, when the address belonged to Zimmerman’s neighbors. The tweet caused the neighbors to be harassed and forced them to flee their home. Lee later apologized on Twitter and offered to compensate the neighbors.
While the tweet certainly left Lee with egg on his face, apparently the incident did little to teach others, namely Roseanne Barr, to refrain from making similar posts. Just a month after the killing on March 29, 2012, Barr retweeted the address and phone number belonging to Zimmerman’s parents, as she believed he was staying there. Barr said that she thought “it was good to let ppl know that no one can hide anymore.” Barr also tweeted, “If Zimmerman isn’t arrested I’ll rt his address again- maybe go 2 his house myself.” After being criticized for posting the information, Barr deleted the tweet and said that she didn’t realize her post was public.
Now, almost two years later, the elder Zimmermans have decided to bring a lawsuit against Barr for the threats and other inconveniences they faced as a result of her actions. The Zimmermans say they were forced to leave their home and go into hiding “as a direct result of the Roseanne Barr tweets.” The Zimmermans also say that they haven’t been able to live in their home since the tweets.
“Roseanne Barr knew at the time of her tweets and her threat to personally come to the Zimmerman’s home that it was an open and obvious call for vigilante justice and were intended by Roseanne Barr to cause a lynch mob to descend on Robert Zimmerman and Gladys Zimmerman’s house,” the complaint states.
The Zimmermans haven’t specified an amount they are suing for, but believe they should be compensated because they “suffered emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, incurred additional living expenses due to an inability to live in their home and have suffered a loss in value of their home.”
Interestingly enough, the Zimmermans claimed in another interview that they moved out of the house before Barr tweeted the personal information. According to Orlando Sentinel, the Zimmermans said they moved out of their house due to death threats made to them because of George Zimmerman’s actions during a March 15, 2012 interview, nearly two weeks before the Barr tweets.
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