Remember shortly after the Trayvon Martin shooting, when Spike Lee retweeted a tweet that purportedly listed George Zimmerman’s address in Sanford Florida? Only it turned out the address was actually a 70-year-old couple’s with no connection to the case? Spike Lee apologized when he figured it out (mainly for getting the address wrong, not for trying to incite mob justice), but it turns out, it’s hard to unincite an angry mob. Now the couple, David and Elaine McClain, are suing Spike Lee, saying he’s responsible for the harassment they received, including being forced to temporarily move out of their home. Forced to move out of Florida? They should be thanking him.
A Sanford couple have sued movie director Spike Lee for a tweet he posted that falsely claimed that their address was where George Zimmerman lived.
After Lee disseminated the tweet last year to his more than 240,000 Twitter followers, Elaine McClain said she began receiving hate mail and she and her husband, David, had to temporarily move out of their home because they were being harassed.
The McClains settled with Lee on March 29, 2012. Lee also tweeted an apology.
However, the lawsuit contends that other people continued to tweet and retweet the address afterward, causing them “substantial injury.” Lee, the suit claims, negligently encouraged “a dangerous mob mentality among his Twitter followers” and the public.
The lawsuit claims the couple still have trouble sleeping and are anxious and fearful. It also alleges that the market value of their home has dropped because of the publicity.
They are seeking more than $15,000, the standard in cases filed Circuit Court, where the suit was filed in September. The case was transferred in October to federal court.
That’s right, Spike Lee originally paid them off… er, settled… last March. At which time Elaine McClain said:
“He was really kind,” Elaine McClain said. “And when he called us, you could just tell he really felt bad about it. And it was just a slip, and I just know that he really, really has been concerned.”
I guess they forgot to transcribe the next part, where she said “Still, another $15 grand or so would be nice. It’s hard to put a price on not being allowed to stand your own ground.”
So what do you say, Spike Lee? Is another $15,000 required to atone for being a total dumbass, if only for a few seconds? The question at the heart of this case seems to be “Should it be legal to blackmail a guy for trying to incite a lynch mob against you?” Ah, the law.
Anyway, I figure he might as well just pay them. He’s either going to owe them or some lawyer. And hey, he can always just put it up on Kickstarter.