George Zimmerman announced Monday afternoon on Twitter that a lawsuit against NBC News was "alive and well," and said his proceeds from the suit would allow him to pay back supporters who had donated to support his legal expenses. The Florida man who is known for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 alerted supporters to an announcement earlier Monday, saying his news “will directly impact my supporters financially.”
NBC suit is alive & well. 20% of my proceeds from the suit, will pay back everyone that donated 2 my legal defense fund.. proportionally..._
— George M. Zimmerman (@TherealGeorgeZ) November 30, 2015
Zimmerman filed a defamation lawsuit against three NBC News reporters for their framing of the story around his shooting of Martin in 2012. He claimed in the lawsuit that the story's editing made it sound as if Zimmerman had voluntarily told a 911 dispatcher Martin was black, when he was in fact responding to a question. He sought damages for emotional distress and mental anguish, the Associated Press reported, but a Florida judge dismissed the lawsuit in June 2014.
Zimmerman's tweet Monday did not provide more details about his NBC suit, but supporters began sending him their excitement and prayers immediately after his announcement.
Since Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder in the Trayvon Martin case in July of 2013, he has continued to make headlines, through several other incidents with the law and an aggressive social media presence. Soon after his shooting of Martin became a national story, Zimmerman set up a website and saw a flood of support, which raised $200,000 for his defense.
This support has continued on social media in the years since, even as Zimmerman has had further brushes with the law. In September 2013, just a few months after his acquittal, his estranged wife called 911 to say her husband was threatening her with a gun and punched her father in the face.
While his wife declined to press charges, Zimmerman was charged with felony aggravated assault in November 2013 after his girlfriend said he pointed a shotgun at her, CNN reported at the time. Zimmerman’s girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, also dropped the charges against him, causing prosecutors to stop pursuing the case. After his domestic violence episodes, Zimmerman was involved in a road rage incident in September 2014 after which the other driver, Matthew Apperson, allegedly shot at Zimmerman in May 2015.
This fall, Zimmerman drew criticism once more when he retweeted a photo of the body of Martin, the unarmed black teenager he killed in 2012. In responding to the backlash around the photo, he said he tweeted it by accident and did not see the photo before tweeting it. However, he maintained he had “nothing to apologize for.”
His Twitter presence has continued to cause controversy, as he frequently tweets his thoughts about race and politics, and has tried to sell his paintings of the Confederate flag. In August, he also drew backlash after referencing President Barack Obama as an “ignorant baboon.”
“the # of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,” - Ignorant Baboon
— George M. Zimmerman (@TherealGeorgeZ) August 26, 2015