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Robert and Gladys Zimmerman, the parents of George Zimmerman, are suing comedian Roseanne Barr for tweeting the address to their Lake Mary, Fla. home. They claim that they have had to live in hiding since the tweet, which they say was an open call for vigilante justice.
They called the tweet “an open and obvious call for vigilante justice,” adding that Barr intended “to cause a lynch mob to descend” in the civil complaint, reports CNN. The suit notes that it was predictable that the tweet would force the couple to “have to flee their house in the middle of the night and never to be able to return, have to face a descent of media and others who would seek to do harm to Robert and Gladys Zimmerman and to their home, and have to live in seclusion to protect their personal and emotional well being.”
The Zimmermans say that Barr’s tweet was a violation of their privacy and accused her of “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” The tweet was sent to Barr’s 110,000 followers a month after George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in February 2012. According to the suit, the tweet read, “At first I thought it was good to let ppl know that no one can hide anymore.” Another tweet at the time allegedly read, “If Zimmerman isn't arrested I'll rt his address again-maybe go 2 his house myself.”
While George Zimmerman did live with his parents at the home from 2001 to 2006, he didn’t live there when Barr tweeted the address, the suit claims.
According to E! News, Barr did tweet a response to the suit, but later deleted the messages. Her tweets to Twitter user @direct7000 are still up, though. “It's sad that I did apologize & attempt to contact them until hundreds of threats/doxes by their fans,” she said in one message.
@direct7000 it's sad that I did apologize & attempt to contact them until hundreds of threats/doxes by their fans.
— Roseanne Barr (@TheRealRoseanne) March 12, 2014
After Martin’s death, many celebrities thought they were helping the situation by retweeting addresses they thought were linked to Zimmerman. That got director Spike Lee in trouble when he retweeted the address of a Florida couple who had no link to Zimmerman.
Zimmerman was acquitted of the shooting death of Martin last summer.