Mystery of Missing Toddler; Death Of A TV Icon
Aired June 20, 2013 - 21:00 ET Then, Robert Zimmerman exclusive. The brother of the man who killed Trayvon Martin gives me his last and only interview until after the trial.
Next up, Robert Zimmerman reveals his family`s pain in the year since Trayvon Martin was killed. This is his only interview until the trial has completed.
And later on, a "Sopranos" insider is here to celebrate the life of James Gandolfini.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the late hour at night, those times alone, those are the times that the breakdown comes.
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VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Coming up top of the hour, "HLN After Dark," the second part of my interview with Trayvon Martin`s father, Tracy Martin.
Also, coming up top of the hour, a bold question for our jury. Will women convict Zimmerman? Six women sitting in judgment of George Zimmerman, but does this jury of mostly women think the women in Seminole County will convict George Zimmerman? A verdict by the end of the program.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was looking for my phone. And he just punched me in the nose. And I fell backwards and to the side, somehow I ended up on my back. And I felt him take one hand off my mouth and slide it down my chest. And I just pinched his arm and I grabbed my gun and I aimed it at him and fired one shot. He kind of sat back and said, you got me.
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DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher. George Zimmerman`s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr. is here with us tonight and we will talk about their family, their relationship, Trayvon Martin, and how events have affected all of them. This, a reminder, is his only and final interview until after the trial.
Joining us as well, Lauren Lake, Jenny Hutt, Wendy Walsh, and of course, Robert Zimmerman Jr. Panel, I`m going to ask you to sit by for just a second here then we`ll jump in with your questions. Mr. Zimmerman, thank you so much for joining us. What exactly is your relationship with your brother now? Are you guys close? Are you together? Tell me what that relationship is like.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, JR., GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S BROTHER: Well, good evening, Dr. Drew. Thanks for having me. I was asked that actually by the state of Florida when i was deposed and I described George as the closest person to me. I think what is essential between brothers is trust.
And the best example I can give is right before this happened, our grandmother was hospitalized and George called me and he arranged for me -- for my transportation in Florida so that we could take care of her. She`s a very important person to us and it`s the same thing I`m doing right now during the trial. I`ve advocated for George as best that I could.
Now, this is in the hands of the jury, of the justice system, and it`s important that his parents and other family members can advocate for him as well. And since we take care of our grandmother as a family, I know that George wouldn`t want anyone else in the world to do that. And if I were in his shoes, I would absolutely trust him to do the same. He did the same thing when our dad had heart attack just days before this, arranged for me to get to Florida.
He slept in the hospital every night with dad. And I ran the household, as it were, so that our mom could be by her husband`s side. That`s the kind of family we are. We come together in times of crisis. And George is very much the same way.
PINSKY: OK. We`re looking at a lot of pictures alongside of you of you two as children. And you look like you were close growing up. I beg your pardon, we don`t know each other, but I`d heard rumors that lately you were estranged from your family. Do you want to set that record straight?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes. There was a statement my father made to one of George`s attorneys who is not representing him anymore. Dad was trying to protect me, to insulate me, and said that I would not have anything further to add since I didn`t live in Florida at the time. The news being the news did what they did with that.
I think NBC`s Torre (ph) was the one who kind of got that ball rolling with Piers Morgan somehow suggesting that I hadn`t seen or spoken to my family in ten years. It`s absurd, it`s nonsense. Like I said, we were together three or four nights before this happened, discharging our dad from the hospital and seeing to his welfare at home.
PINSKY: And, also, you spoke to some of my -- one of my producers and told him how terrorized you and your family were by when this -- what happened after this all went down. Can you describe what that was like and how much despair you, yourself, expressed?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes. I think, you know, initially, when this happened, it was tragic. It was -- that`s the best word to describe it. That`s how we felt all of us. The mood was somber in our family. I think after March 7th when the false narratives started coming to life and twisting the story and race started getting injected, that`s when the terror set in. And shortly after, the Black Panthers would be hunting for George. The police would tell me my home was not safe.
Spike Lee (ph) would tweet someone`s address he thought was my parents` and alter that family`s way of life. Roseanne Barr (ph) would go on to do something similar to our parents, and we would all essentially become homeless, on the run, in and out of hotels so that people who would harm us or people who were out rallying in the streets, very disrespectful at best messages about George would not find us or hurt us.
And we have been ID`d, I have been several times, not just in Florida, but in Washington, too. And it`s put me in a very awkward situation.
PINSKY: OK. I want to give my panel -- we just got very limited time here. We`re against the clock. But I will continue this with the panel after we get back. But Lauren, do you have any questions for Mr. Zimmerman?
LAUREN LAKE, ATTORNEY: Yes, Robert. I wanted to ask you. You say you`re close with your brother. And people have described him as having a vigilante-type personality. And I want to know if you agree with that, and if not, if you could just shed us -- for us some light on what he was like growing up. What was his personality like?
ZIMMERMAN: You know, I`ve heard even Dr. Drew throw that kind of terminology around -- cowboy or, you know, try to get inside George`s head without even knowing him. And it`s not just Dr. Drew, but it`s a lot of people who are relying on that element or introducing that to make that false narrative make more sense in the vacuum of evidence and in the vacuum of the results of an investigation that was actually happening despite what the NAACP and others would say.
I think growing up, George was my little brother. And I was his big brother. We are very well-known in our community. I think when the media found out about people who knew us in our community, they would use the term collectively "the boys." We were altar servers together growing up. We were two young men who spoke Spanish who were bilingual in our community.
And at that time, that was a rarity. So, we always had that in common, that we were the product of a biracial love story. And, you know, enjoyed doing things brothers two growing up, normal things that any brother would do.
PINSKY: OK. You guys, I`ve got to take a quick break. Hang in there. We are here with Robert Zimmerman, Jr. We`ll have more with him in just a second.
And later, James Gandolfini`s friend and fellow "Sopranos" star is here to tell us about the actor and his friends, his life, his loves after this.
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher and George Zimmerman`s brother, Robert Jr. Jenny, go ahead with your question.
JENNY HUTT, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: OK. First of all, Robert, thank you for being here as well and I`m sorry that you`ve experienced cyber bullying. Nobody should have to experience any bullying anywhere. So, here`s my question. It`s been reported that you`ve said that you don`t believe that your brother should have even been arrested.
Had the circumstances been different and Trayvon had been the one to pull the trigger and your brother had been killed, would you have not wanted Trayvon arrested either?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, I think what I`ve said and I`ve been very clear is the law, the statute as it stands, suggests that self-defense is not something we criminalize. And, you know, I think what you`re asking when you say George versus Trayvon is you`re saying what Mr. Crump (ph) and others who have been spinning this false from the beginning is if race were reversed.
And I would say no. In the exactly same set -- exact same set of circumstances, an arrest was inappropriate because a crime was not committed. It was an act of self-defense. And again, it`s not something we should criminalize in our society. It`s something we have a right to.
PINSKY: Hey, Robert, before this episode, was George ever the object of other victimization or violence?
ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely not, no. And you know, I`m glad you brought that up, because the FBI, themselves, have been looking far and wide. They`ve interviewed many people, looking not only for signs of violence or being a victim of violence or a perpetrator of violence, but including, you know, racism or even racial innuendo in his past life. And it went beyond just the local investigation to the state police, to the FBI. and there`s no there there.
Despite what you might hear from attorneys for Mr. Martin`s family who used race to perpetuate this false narrative after March 7th. There`s no there there. And that`s why we look forward as a family to George finally being able to clear his name 16 months after this happened in a court of law.
PINSKY: Wendy. Wendy, go ahead.
WENDY WALSH, PH.D., AUTHOR, "THE 30-DAY LOVE DETOX: Well, you know, you talked about the isolation you had and sort of having to be on the lam as a family, staying in hotels. Do you feel safe yet and what are you doing to, you know, keep yourself mentally healthful, if you will?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, I`m signing off-camera for tonight and that will keep me safer because it will keep me out of harm`s way. I won`t be in studios and I won`t be traveling. To keep my mind healthy, we pray. We spend as much time together as we can as a family. I remember years ago, Anderson Cooper had an interview with Oprah Winfrey about his brother`s suicide and that was always something that stuck out in my mind as, you know, looking forward.
April 11th when George was arrested, I just prayed to God that George would be stronger than something like that. And he has been. And, it`s not something to suggest he ever contemplated it, but if it was something that I had even thought of --
PINSKY: Did you?
ZIMMERMAN: I don`t think that contemplation is the word. I think it`s something that had never crossed my mind before. I think it was desperation, not seeing a way out, you know, trying to have some kind of life for myself in D.C. But there`s marches and rallies and protests outside my window all around me and signs suggesting my brother`s a racist or a murderer.
And really, it looked like there would be no way out except for the prosecuting attorney that came from Tallahassee to have made the right call and explain to the people that the investigation that was happening was valid, that there was no crime here, and that despite whatever anybody`s race is or is not, that the law should have been followed and no one should have been charged with a crime.
PINSKY: OK. Robert, thank you for joining us. Robert Zimmerman Jr., thank you, sir. Thank you to the panel. Reminder, Vinnie Politan will speak to Trayvon Martin`s father immediately after our program on "After Dark."