Spike Lee Sued by Elderly Couple for Tweeting That Their Address Was George Zimmerman’s Home

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 13 2013 8:16 AM

Spike Lee Sued by Elderly Couple for Tweeting That Their Address Was George Zimmerman’s Home

Director Spike Lee attends Day Six of the 2013 US Open.

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for the USTA

Last year, an elderly Florida couple unexpectedly became entangled in the George Zimmerman murder case for the killing of Trayvon Martin through, of all things, Twitter. Elaine and David McClain’s troubles started in March 2012 when filmmaker Spike Lee Tweeted out a message to his 240,000 followers that, he thought, contained the address of George Zimmerman. The address, however, was that of the McClains, who are both in their early 70s. Now, the couple is suing Lee.

The McClains said in their lawsuit that they feared for their lives after their address was broadcast on Lee’s account, according to ABC News. The mix up apparently occurred, the McClains told Orlando news station WKMG-TV, because Elaine McClain’s son’s name is George Zimmerman, but is not related to the Zimmerman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin and hadn’t lived at the McClain’s home in almost 20 years.


Lee has since apologized to the couple and they reached a financial settlement last year. Despite the settlement, the McClains say that they were again erroneously targeted and harassed when George Zimmerman went to trial. Here’s more on the suit from the Smoking Gun.

In the couple’s lawsuit--which was filed in Florida Circuit Court--the McClains accuse Lee of “encouraging a dangerous mob mentality among his Twitter followers, as well as the public-at-large.” The lawsuit alleges that the pair has suffered “injuries and damages” subsequent to the March 29, 2012 settlement struck with Lee. The complaint does not specify monetary damages. However, a court filing by Lee’s attorney reports that the McClains’s counsel had valued the lawsuit at $1.2 million.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.


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