Let me state the obvious.
George Zimmerman is an asshole.
There are discernible reasons, which I have spent a summer pointing out to you during the murder trial that resulted in his acquittal. Most notably the killing of an unarmed teenager and his failure to apologize to the grieving family for what he calls self-defense.
And while not much is known about “Georgie” outside of what loving witness-friends told us on the stand and what we have gathered from the arguably racially-charged 911 calls that could have (in this case, by law, have not) reflected ill-will and hatred, I have noted on multiple occasions that those same friends rarely – if ever – mention his relationship with Shellie.
We haven’t heard much from Shellie since, she too, was charged with a crime (perjury) in 2012 shortly after the shooting. She lied to the judge about her and George’s finances, claiming they were broke, when in actuality, they had just been given over $100,000 collected from the Zimmerman defense fund. She spoke in code to George over the phone about their burgeoning bank account and he told her how to distribute it. It was as if we were watching a crime novel unfold in front of us.
The new Bonnie and Clyde.
We’ve watched her, stone-faced and almost pensive, as she sat in the courtroom during George’s five-week trial. And we have not once – as in ever – heard her utter a bad word about her husband, the former neighborhood watchman who took a child’s life.
She put on the front that she needed to as a married woman devoted to her husband. Solidarity. Shellie admitted that she believed George’s account of what happened that night, but it seems her devotion would take her that far even if she believed he was lying. Love, maybe? Financial gain? But for all intents and purposes, she was his wife. And George was her husband.
But it seems the perjury hearing, which landed Shellie a year probation, a mountain of community service debt and a humbling letter to the judge, cracked her rose-colored glasses.
While she had spent countless hours at the trial, outside the trial, in the woods hiding from those who wanted Zimmerman’s head, and on the run while awaiting trial, George didn’t attend her 15-minute hearing.
As the saying goes…all good things must come to an end.
It’s not clear if his absence (which, implied by her response that it made her feel lonely, he did purposely), was the catalyst for the divorce urges. In fact, this may be a glimpse into the behemoth of issues the married couple had before the eye of the storm passed the Zimmerman house at The Retreat At Twin Lakes.
But whatever it was, her now loose lips gave more insight into the man who was painted by the defense as a loving, charitable do-gooder.
For starters, he’s now the man who “beats up her self-esteem.”
He’s also the man who, after an argument with Shellie that sent her to her parents house on the night of the fatal shooting, toured his neighborhood with a 9mm and hollow-point bullets.
Here you can make your own assumptions about George Zimmerman’s state of mind the night he shot Trayvon Martin. It also makes you wonder why this bit of information wasn’t shared by Shellie before the trial.
And, despite her willingness to go to jail for her husband, endure ridicule for her husband, give up stability for her husband, and live a life of perpetual scrutiny for her husband, he is the man who couldn’t even show up and stand by her side to take responsibility for a mess they both made.
Empathy is the word for the day.
But that only goes so far. It’s hard to feel sorry for the supportive wife of a man who – by the court of public opinion – murdered a teenager. But haven’t we heard this story thousands of times? Who doesn’t know a ride-or-die chick just ready to do what it takes to secure the thing that means most to them…their heart?
Shellie’s situation, while not new, is understandable. And maybe the bit of empathy I have for her…partially fueled by my theory that George embodies the ill-will that the prosecution failed to prove in court…is exactly what she wants me to feel. Playing me like a fiddle…I may kick myself later for that tinge of mercy.
But giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming this is not a segue into a book deal or some other endeavor that will make the family richer, Shellie Zimmerman is the ultimate definition of the ride-or-die chick gone wrong.
That girl is never right in her actions. She’s just as much the problem as her partner. But because we all know someone who is Shellie, we have the urge to feel sorry for her.