Robert Zimmerman talks about Shellie, living life after Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman and his family are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. Photo: AP Photo: Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel

OCALA, Fla., September 6, 2013 — Since George Zimmerman was acquitted of any wrongdoing in Trayvon Martin’s death, many Americans seem to have had a difficult time getting over the matter. 

Perhaps this is because Zimmerman, a multiracial neighborhood watch captain, was portrayed in media reports as a white vigilante. Meanwhile, Martin was propagated to be an upstanding young man who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time — despite his history of legal troubles and drug-related issues. 

SEE RELATED: Asking Robert Zimmerman: Is George really a free man post-Trayvon?

Irrespective of whatever anyone thinks about Zimmerman or Martin, it is undeniable that both of their families are trying to move on.

Robert Zimmerman, George’s older brother, speaks candidly with
Communities about how his loved ones are dealing with life after the

Have his parents, Robert, Sr. and Gladys, faced challenges in putting
their son’s prosecution, by court and by media, behind them?

“It is very disconcerting to hear mixed messages coming from leadership,” Zimmerman says. “Our father is still disappointed that [Martin family lawyer] Ben Crump peddles a proven-in-court false ‘murder’ narrative at post-trial engagements with absolutely no rebuttal by the media and thunderous applause by most in the black community.”  

Recently, news of George’s wife, Shellie, being in a strained relationship with her husband surfaced and she has now filed for divorce. Segments of an interview she did about the matter were run on ABC News’s Good Morning America.

SEE RELATED: Shellie Zimmerman unsure if her marriage to George will last

“Shellie decided to participate in an interview the day she entered her plea,” Robert mentions. 

Shellie plead guilty to misdemeanor perjury because she lied about her financial situation during a 2012 bail bond hearing for George. This was done in order to secure a lower rate.

“I know that before the event Shellie was very excited about soon becoming a licensed Registered Nurse and being able to help people,” Robert continues. “I have seen Shellie slave over her school workload [and] study tirelessly toward completing her degree.  I think the interview she did, as well as the letter to Judge Lester expressing her desire to move forward with her life should speak for themselves.”

Since the Martin shooting’s aftermath gathered steam, Robert has functioned as a de facto public spokesman for George. Not much is often said about his personal background, though.

SEE RELATED: Shellie Zimmerman unsure if her marriage to George will last

“I am a singer,” Robert explains. “I sing Tenor 1 [and] Tenor 2 as a soloist [and] in Symphonic choirs. I was trained in voice by a Washington DC music professor who operates an independent voice studio. I worked as a vocalist for a company that books [and] hires professional musicians as independent contractors throughout the DC area.  

“While working as a vocalist I also sang with the City Choir of Washington [and] served as the Chorus Vice-President for one season. Throughout my 11 year relationship with a restaurateur I became involved in the restaurant [and] food industries and worked for him both in the restaurant [and] out.”

How has Robert fared with George’s acquittal?

“I am glad that I am able to address crime, justice, race-relations, firearms, and conservative issues on a very public platform,” he tells. “It is nice to move beyond addressing only the ‘George Zimmerman’ case though I always felt it was my duty to tell the truth.  I knew in my heart George would be acquitted and I pre-emptively left the state in order to be available to address his acquittal immediately.  

“It was by some measures prophetic but I think it was always destined to be: justice would be served.”

George being hounded by reporters and tried under extremely controversial circumstances surely included more than a few shocks for his family. What has been the biggest surprise for his family since the not guilty verdict was handed down?

“I think that certain elements of the black community embracing and promoting the idea that Trayvon Martin is a ‘martyr’ or that George’s acquittal is somehow an ‘injustice’ is particularly disturbing,” Robert states. 

“Some high-profile blacks have even likened Trayvon Martin to Emmitt Till while others have abdicated rationality by insisting despite a finding-of-fact that George is a ‘murderer’.” 

During the months and years ahead, one can hope that high-running tensions will ease and the Zimmermans are able to find their happy ever after, whatever that might mean for each of them. 

In all honesty, what more is there to ask for? 

Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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