George Zimmerman Claims In Financial Affidavit That He Is Homeless, $2.5M In Debt
TAMPA (CBS Tampa/AP) — George Zimmerman claims he is homeless and is $2.5 million in debt in a financial affidavit filed in his divorce case.
The affidavit — obtained by the Orlando Sentinel — shows that Zimmerman has no job, no income and no home, but spends $3,304 a month, including $100 a month on vacations.
Zimmerman lists his total assets at $14,000, with his debts totaling $2.5 million, a majority of that going to his criminal defense team who helped him get acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claims to only have $650 in his bank account.
The affidavit also reportedly shows that Zimmerman, who doesn’t have health insurance, spends $350 a month for medical care, plus an extra $200 a month for mental health counseling.
George and Shellie Zimmerman, who have been married since November 2007, separated a month after he was acquitted last July of any crime for fatally shooting the 17-year-old Martin in February 2012.
Last month a Florida judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Zimmerman against NBC and three reporters, saying the former neighborhood watch leader failed to show the network acted with malice.
Judge Debra Nelson said the malice standard was appropriate because Zimmerman became a public figure after he shot Trayvon Martin, generating a national conversation about race and self-defense laws.
Zimmerman “voluntarily injected his views into the public controversy surrounding race relations and public safety in Sanford and pursued a course of conduct that ultimately led to the death of Martin and the specific controversy surrounding it,” said Nelson, who presided over Zimmerman’s criminal trial last summer.
In his lawsuit, Zimmerman said NBC’s editing of a story on the shooting made it sound as if Zimmerman voluntarily told an operator that Martin was black. He was actually responding to a dispatcher’s question about the Miami teen’s race. Zimmerman said the broadcasts made his seem like a racist and exposed him to public ridicule and threats. He was seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish.
Zimmerman also said he was defamed when an NBC reporter said he uttered a racial slur during the call with the dispatcher. Zimmerman denied using a slur and law enforcement analyses of the call have been unable to conclude what he said and so defamation can’t be proved on that case either, the judge said.
Zimmerman’s attorney, James Beasley, was in depositions for another case Monday and didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
NBC News spokeswoman Ali Zelenko said in a statement that the network is “gratified by the court’s dismissal of this lawsuit, which we have always believed to be without merit.”
Zimmerman still owes his defense attorneys $2.5 million. Any award he could have gotten from the lawsuit was expected to help him pay those bills.
A spokesman for Mark O’Mara, one of Zimmerman’s attorneys, didn’t have an immediate comment.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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