UPDATE, 1-27-2016, 12 p.m.: Radar Online published a leaked phone call in which Jodi Arias and rapper Kareem "Lefty" Williams discuss the music video shown above.
The story of Jodi Arias involves deviant sex, hyper-violent murder, and domestic violence.
Arias was convicted in 2013 of killing her ex-boyfriend and lover Travis Alexander in 2007. On the night of his death, Arias stabbed Alexander almost 30 times and shot him in the head.
The trial spun out into lengthy, graphic discussions of anal sex lubricants, sexting, and naked pictures of both Arias and Alexander, drawing national attention from media hucksters like Nancy Grace.
As the gruesome details of the violent murder rolled out, a lot of questions came to light. One of these questions was Arias' mental health at the time she killed Alexander. A defense witness, psychologist Richard Samuels, diagnosed Arias with PTSD, though as New Times' Ray Stern reported, prosecutor Juan Martinez poked some pretty serious holes in the diagnosis. The idea of PTSD rested at the heart of Arias' defense — she wasn't a cold-blooded killer but a domestic violence victim who snapped while defending herself. This defense no doubt played a central role in the jury sentencing Arias to life in prison instead of the death penalty.
This summer, Arizona rapper Kareem Williams, a.k.a Lefty, penned a song defending Arias. Now, he has provided visuals for highly controversial single “Jodi Ann Arias.” The slick music video, directed by Michael Cardoza, features several women who hold signs in awareness of the perils of domestic violence and PTSD. Spliced between these shots are scenes from Arias' controversial trial. While one of the women in the video, Shannon Guzman, (first appears at 1:12 in the video) does mouth Jodi Ann Arias’ name in the video, she made it clear that while she herself is a victim of domestic violence, she does not support the woman.
"I am not a supporter of Jodi Arias at all but I support Kareem Williams in his fight to bring awareness to PTSD and domestic violence,” Guzman tells New Times.
The video also features an introduction from Maria De La Rosa, who worked as a mitigation specialist on the Arias case. As one of her duties, she was responsible for compiling an extensive psychological profile based on Arias’ life history and then present it to the defense team. Williams approached De La Rosa about the idea of promoting awareness for PTSD and domestic violence, and De La Rosa was completely on board.
“I am a huge advocate of promoting awareness to both issues. I believe that by participating in the video, I could bring awareness to women, so that they can break the cycle of domestic violence by reaching for help,” stated De La Rosa in a brief interview. “Mental health illness is taboo in this country, and many do not explore treatment until is too late.”
The video ends with a quote from Arias herself: "If I had an agenda, my agenda for the interviews would be to bring awareness to domestic violence."
Interestingly, Lefty is still funneling the proceeds from the song to Jodi Arias' appeal fund in hopes that Arias get a fair shot at justice.
"I feel that Jodi Arias did not get a fair trial and she deserves a fair one," Lefty tells New Times.
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If the appeal goes through, Lefty hopes to focus on the bigger picture and re-direct the profits to organizations for battered women.