Anger can be an invaluable motivator but it can equally be debilitatingly blinding. Unfortunately, Spike Lee falls in the latter category as he is currently being sued by an elderly couple, Elaine and David McClain in Sanford, Florida for helping disseminate their personal address to hundreds of thousands of people.
Following the February 26th, 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman, Lee retweeted a tweet from Marcus D. Higgins which gave out George Zimmerman’s address. After discovering the address was in fact erroneous and belonged to the , Lee quickly apologized and attempted damage control:
The apology did little to subdue the negative attention the McCain couple experienced. Due to the high volume of hate mail, death threats and social media harassment, the two were forced to move to a hotel to avoid it all. The couple’s attorney Matt Morgan informed The Los Angeles Times shortly after Lee’s apology that Lee also compensated the couple.
The mixup of addresses apparently stemmed from Elaine McCain’s youngest son sharing the same name as George Zimmerman, however not sharing any familial relations. The couple is suing further as they claim the abuse they experienced that started with Lee’s March 2012 tweet extended until the conclusion of George Zimmerman’s trial in mid July 2013.
The couple is seeking $15,000 in damages.