Zimmerman Trial Star Witness Rachel Jeantel Speaks to INSIDE EDITION
Rachel Jeantel tells INSIDE EDITION's Deborah Norville what the Zimmerman trial was like from her perspective and responds to the reaction she received.
The memorable witness from the George Zimmerman trial is taking on her critics, starting with juror number B37.
Juror B37 told CNN's Anderson Cooper, "I think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communication skills. I just felt sadness for her."
INSIDE EDITION's Deborah Norville interviewed Rachel Jeantel, the star witness for the prosecution today in New York.
In response to juror B37's remarks, Jeantel told Norville, "I'm pissed off. She don't know me. She's judging me. Stop judging me."
The feisty 19-year-old high school senior was called to the stand because she was on the phone with Trayvon Martin the night of his fateful encounter with George Zimmerman.
Norville asked, "To clear things up, [Trayvon Martin] buddies or boyfriend, girlfriend?"
Smiling, Jeantal said, "Next question."
Norville replied, "Yes ma'am. I get that."
At the trial, Jeantel famously sparred with defense attorney Don West. At one point in the trial, West asked Jeantel, "Are you claiming in any way that you don't understand English?"
Jeantel replied to West, "I understand you. I understand you. I do understand English!"
"I stand my ground. You're not going to attack me because I'm not your child," Jeantel told Norville.
"Did you think he was trying to insult you?" asked Norville.
"Yes! You're an adult trying to attack a teenager," replied Jeantel.
Jeantel drew a lot of criticism for her communication skills. But she explained to Norville that she has an untreated underbite that causes her to have difficulty speaking.
"I keep working on it, but I know I have to do the surgery to push back because I'm under my tongue, talking under my tongue," she explained.
After Jeantel wrapped up her testimony, Don West's daughter posted a photo to Instagram showing the defense attorney and his two daughters eating ice cream cones. The caption read: "We beat stupidity celebration cones. Dadkilledit."
Jeantel said, "I don't call all blondes dumb, but that's the dumb ones who are trying to prove a point that daddy win. No, ain't win, honey."
It's easy to see why Jeantel's fiery personality riveted court watchers. Some ridiculed her.
Norville said, "There were also people who were very positive and supportive of you. One commentator in particular said, 'Rachel stood and defended herself and Trayvon against the condescension, against the silencing and against the character attacks. For that, she should be commended and thanked.' When you hear something like that, how do you feel?"
"I'm glad I was there. I'm glad I'm standing for Trayvon," replied Jeantel.
Jeantel said she had a feeling the all-female jury of five whites and one hispanic would find George Zimmerman not guilty because she says they couldn't relate to young people like Trayvon and herself.
"What was your thought when you looked over and saw thoese six ladies? What did you think?" asked Norville.
"They too old," she answered.
Attorney Rod Vereen is representing Rachel Jeantel. He thinks the prosecution failed to clarify Jeantel's testimony for the jury.
"The faces that they were making sometimes lead me to believe that they didn't understand exactly what she meant by certain lingo that she was using. The prosecution needs to go in say, 'Explain that Rachel. What do you mean by that?' They didn't do that," said Vereen.
Jeantel says her grades suffered as a result of her involvement in the trial, but an incredible opportunity has come her way thanks to her exposure. She has just been offered two scholarships to college.
Now, Jeantel says going to college will help her to honor the legacy of her friend, Trayvon Martin.
"As an African American, you're not representing only yourself, you're representing all African Americans. So you got to make something out of yourself," said Jeantel.
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