The day after he gave an interview to Sean Hannity of Fox News, in which he expressed “no regrets” over the incidents surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman relaunched his website, and sent a message to his supporters.
“I want to reach out to each supporter personally, however, the overwhelming support has made that effort challenging. I thank each and every one of you for your support, whether through your hard-earned money, words of encouragement, or most importantly through prayer,” Zimmerman said on the site. Late Thursday, Zimmerman also posted a video, in which he thanked “the masses” for their support, and informed his visitors that “this is not my website, it’s our website.” Zimmerman repeated the message in English and Spanish, as he stood in front of a window with palm trees waving in the background. Zimmerman is living at a “safe house” in Seminole County, Florida, awaiting the next step in his second degree murder case.
Zimmerman’s website had been shuttered by his attorney, Mark O’Mara, after the attorney took over the case in April. Zimmerman initially created TheRealGeorgeZimmerman.com while in hiding, prior to being charged with second degree murder in the Martin killing. His previous attorneys quit after losing touch with him, and included in their reasons for resigning, Zimmerman’s launching of the website, and an associated PayPal account, without consulting them. The following day, Zimmerman was charged and turned himself in to authorities.
That PayPal account eventually took in more than $209,000 — more than $135,000 of which was in the Zimmermans’ bank account on the day before his April 20 bond hearing. Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, faces perjury charges for misleading the court about the money, raised from supporters. O’Mara declared the couple indigent at the hearing, and Zimmerman’s bond was revoked in June, after prosecutors discovered the existence of the money.
Now, the website is back.
Zimmerman explained why, in a letter to supporters that was the first post on the site.
“This has been the most difficult time of my life. I have been charged and arrested for murder, I have been accused of being a racist, and my family and I have to live in hiding because of threats against my life. I am not a murderer, and I am not a racist. Rumors and lies about the case and me are rampant on the Internet. I want to set the record straight about some things. I created this website to give me, the real George Zimmerman, a place to do that,” the post read. And Zimmerman added: “This is not my website, this is our website.”
The post includes a pitch for donations to the Zimmerman legal defense fund, which O’Mara placed under a trustee’s control in April.
“I also want a place where people can send me words of encouragement, and while I wish I didn’t have to ask, a place for those able to donate to my defense fund,” Zimmerman writes. “I started a defense fund to help pay my living expenses, to help with legal expenses, and help with security expenses as needed. I have had no other means of generating income for five months let alone pay the enormous expenses surrounding this case.”