Spike Lee Sued For Tweeting False George Zimmerman Address
Amidst the public outrage over Trayvon Martin’s murder last year, Spike Lee thought he tweeted the whereabouts of George Zimmerman. Instead, he tweeted the address of an elderly Florida couple. The two, flooded with death threats, are suing the motion picture icon for “encouraging a dangerous mob mentality,” The Smoking Gun reports.
“EVERYBODY REPOST THIS,” Spike Lee tweeted a month after Martin’s murder, complete with the couple’s full address, zip code and all. The lauded film director obliviously posted the address of the David and Elaine McClain, not the Zimmermans, to his 240,000 followers.
After Lee’s tweet, the McClains said they’ve been swamped with phone calls, hate mail, and even intruders at their residence. To this day, the harassment hasn’t stopped. The two are still receiving threats in the mail.
“How would he handle this if someone did this to his mother to be terrorized? To be afraid to be home in their kitchen (when) someone goes by the house and is going slow? People again are still tweeting this out and we’re still getting mail,” Elaine, 71, said.
Spike Lee offered the couple a $10,000 settlement in March of last year, which the McClains accepted. He also issued an apology on Twitter:
“I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address.It Was A Mistake.Please Leave The McClain’s In Peace.Justice In Court, ” Lee tweeted.
But the McClains continued to be tormented throughout the Zimmerman trial. Then the two realized that Lee’s settlement did not cover the “injuries and damages” they’ve suffered. “The lawsuit claims the couple still have trouble sleeping and are anxious and fearful. It also alleges that the market value of their home has dropped because of the publicity,” The Orlando Sentinel says.
The McClains are suing Spike Lee for negligence. Although the complaint doesn’t specify any damages, “[a] court filing by Lee’s attorney reports that the McClains’s counsel had valued the lawsuit at $1.2 million,” The Smoking Gun concludes.