The lawsuit was announced by Larry Klayman on Wednesday. Klayman—who is a former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor and the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch—will represent Zimmerman. He is arguing that Crump and the prosecution conspired during the trial to produce a false witness and evidence against Zimmerman. Klayman also believes that Crump defamed his client's character in the process.
According to the complaint, in March 2012, the Sanford Police Department conducted a thorough investigation in which it proved that Zimmerman acted in self-defense. A week later, Crump revealed an audiotape which he claimed was a phone conversation between Martin and his girlfriend, Diamond Eugene, who he was talking to right before he was killed. Zimmerman and Klayman say that 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel appeared in court two weeks later posing as Eugene. She allegedly provided false statements based on the coaching of the prosecution to incriminate Zimmerman.
This lawsuit coincides with a new book and film by director Joel Gilbert titled The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America. The movie and book use Martin's cell phone records to allege that Rachel Jeantel was not his girlfriend. It also claims that she was not on the phone with him before the altercation and that she lied in hopes of getting Zimmerman arrested/convicted of the crime.
Along with Martin's parents and attorney, Gilbert alleges that several people knew about the switch. As a result, these people are named as defendants in the case, including 2020 Miami-Dade Commission candidate Sybrina Fulton, the State of Florida, and more. Zimmerman is seeking damages in excess of $100 million.
Martin’s parents and Crump have responded to Zimmerman’s lawsuit, calling it “reckless” among other things.