Comedienne turned coconut farmer, Roseanne Barr, is being sued by George Zimmerman’s parents, Robert and Gladys over a Tweet. The lawsuit stems from a message Barr sent out on Twitter, then deleted, around the time their son shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
In March, 2012, after Zimmerman fatally shot the unarmed 17-year-old in Sanford, Florida, he was believed to be hiding out at his parent’s home in Lake Mary. Meanwhile, Barr vocally supported the slain teen by using social media. Among other demands, she called for the arrest of Zimmerman.
On the 29th , Barr tweeted the address of Zimmerman’s parents, which was potentially seen by Barr’s 110,000 followers on Twitter. The tweet also included the Zimmerman’s phone number. By this time, however, journalists had already begun flocking around the Zimmerman home. Their address was already considered to be public knowledge. When Barr deleted the tweet, she wrote that if Zimmerman is not arrested, she will post the address again. She even threatened to go to the house herself.
The lawsuit is asking for $750,000. $600,000 is for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” and “invasion of privacy.” An additional $37,400 is for expenses that they have accrued like, travel, hotel rooms, laundry and restaurant meals. The Zimmermans claim that they were forced to hide and have been unable to return to their home. In the filed statement from March, Barr is accused of attempting to incite a lynch mob and calling for vigilante justice. The Zimmermans also claim that their son was not living at their home at the time of Barr’s tweet.
The statement goes on to explain that the couple was forced to leave their home in the middle of the night, and that they have suffered mental anguish and emotional pain. It also claims they have lost their capacity to enjoy life, have incurred further living expenses, and their home has dropped in value. The complaint states the losses are considered to be permanent, and the Zimmermans will be suffering from these losses well into the future. Though Barr has not made any public statements regarding the lawsuit, last week, her lawyers filed a request for an itemized damages list.
The lawsuit, filed in March, came eight months after their son, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, was acquitted of the murder of Martin. Barr’s attorneys do not anticipate the couple collecting any cash.
This lawsuit reeks of desperation. There is no way of knowing exactly how many people on Twitter actually saw the tweet. Unless a band of Roseanne Barr Vigilantes showed up at their house, her tweet did not do the harm that they are claiming it did.
Perhaps the shame their out-of-control son has brought upon their family has more to do with their inability, or unwillingness, to return to Lake Mary. If they are not living there and the house is going into ill-repair, that would probably be the cause of the value drop that they have seen in their property. In all likelihood, the couple do not have a strong case and this will be just another chapter in the Zimmerman family saga. The Zimmerman’s lawsuit against Roseanne Barr over a tweet appears to be nothing but a frivolous continuation of a circus sideshow.
Opinion By Stacy Lamy