READ about Piers Morgan's long career in journalism here.
Whether you fell asleep early, stayed out too late, or simply want to watch it again, we realize it's not always possible to get your entire "Piers Morgan Live" fix from television. As an answer to this, we offer the below labor of love – "Piers Morgan Live, Rewind" – dedicated and designed to getting you caught up and connected to the conversation.
The verdict is in, the news is out, and the nation remains divided. But regardless of your opinion of the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial, this much is fact: the public knows a whole lot more about the defendant than the boy he killed. But his good friend, and the last person he spoke to other than Zimmerman – Rachel Jeantel – knew him better than most. On Monday evening, the young woman who had unwillingly become the star of the trial joined “Piers Morgan Live” with her first public interview since testifying for the prosecution last month.
In painting a picture of the young man whose death reignited conversations about civil rights on an international scale, Jeantel made a point to respond to the allegations that Trayvon Martin was some sort of trouble maker:
“He was a calm, chill, loving person. Loved his family, definitely his mother. And a good friend," Jeantel told Piers Morgan, in an exclusive, face to face conversation.
Notwithstanding occasional marijuana use, which “don't make him go crazy, it just make him go hungry,” Jeantel maintained that Trayvon is an upstanding young man: he isn’t aggressive, doesn’t lose his cool, and isn’t involved with guns.
So why wasn’t all of this more apparent during the trial? Jeantel felt simply that there was a disconnect from the jurors and lawyers. Whether generational or cultural, Jeantel surmised that those in positions of judgement did not understand the world from which she and Martin came.
Referencing her appearance in court, Jeantel noted that it was difficult to testify on behalf of the state, admitting to Piers Morgan that she was under the weight of unimaginable stress:
“You were just on the phone with the person. And he sounded normal. And then a situation happened, and then I'm finding out two days later he's dead," the guest detailed. "Then I had to be - by a friend telling me, oh, do you know he died at 7:17? And I had to look at my phone. My phone says 7:16. And people got the nerve to tell me, oh, why didn't you come to the funeral? I didn't put Trayvon at the funeral. I didn't put Trayvon in the casket. That's what people need to understand. I did not plan for that week to be at a funeral. That day I was so shaken, like wow, it's really happening, he's really dead?”
And after a deeply revealing conversation about her relationship with Martin, Jeantel had the chance to react to the discriminatory attacks she received through social media in the days following her court appearance.
In response to comments made by Juror B37 during an interview on CNN's "AC360," Jeantel admitted to being angry:
“When the state closed they're trying to explain what kind of person I am. You can see the kind of person I am.”