Kyle Rittenhouse Accused of Fake Crying by Critics: 'Crocodile Tears'

Kyle Rittenhouse has been accused of giving performative "crocodile tears" after he broke down while giving evidence in his trial.

The 18-year-old began hyperventilating during his testimony in court on Wednesday, prompting Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder to call for a 10-minute break in proceedings.

Rittenhouse was describing the circumstances leading up to him shooting his first victim Joseph Rosenbaum.

He told the jury how he was unable to escape from a crowd of protesters who were swarming around him, including Joshua Ziminski, who was armed with a gun.

The defendant described how Rosenbaum began "running from my right side and I was cornered" before becoming emotional and being unable to speak. His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was also heard sobbing loudly during the defendant's testimony.

However, a number of people accused the 18-year-old of pretending to cry in order to paint himself as the victim in the divisive trial in which he is accused of two counts of homicide as well as attempted homicide during the shootings at the Black Lives Matter protest in August 2020.

NBA star LeBron James was one of the more high-profile names to criticize Rittenhouse for his testimony and dismissed suggestions that he broke down in tears.

What tears????? I didn’t see one. Man knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court. 🤣🤣🤣

— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 11, 2021

"What tears????? I didn't see one. Man knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court," James tweeted to his 50 million followers.

CNN pundit Ana Navarro-Cárdenas wrote: "Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27. Think about how much their loved ones have cried, real anguish and grief, not crocodile tears."

Amanda Marcotte, a writer for Salon, tweeted: "F**k this brat's crocodile tears. Self-defense is when you are minding your own business, someone attacks you, and you have to fight back. Rittenhouse picked up a gun and went looking for trouble. He found it and, in a sane world, would go to jail for it."

Kyle Rittenhouse’s was face scrunching extra hard with zero moisture. Crocodile tears

— 𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 (@exavierpope) November 10, 2021

Exavier Pope, lawyer and host of SuitUP News, added: "Kyle Rittenhouse's was face scrunching extra hard with zero moisture. Crocodile tears."

While Rittenhouse was testifying, the Twitter account for Merriam-Webster's dictionary also tweeted the definition of crocodile tears as a "superficial display of anguish" which comes from a "medieval belief that crocodiles shed tears of sadness when killing their prey."

The term 'crocodile tears' (a superficial display of anguish) comes from a medieval belief that crocodiles shed tears of sadness when killing their prey.

— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) November 10, 2021

Elsewhere, Carli Pierson, an attorney and a USA TODAY opinion writer, penned a comment piece entitled "Kyle Rittenhouse deserves an award for his melodramatic performance on the witness stand" in which she criticized the 18-year-old.

"Regardless of how Rittenhouse tries to twist his story—or twist his sad face into tears— his innocent kid act shouldn't fool anyone. The facts speak for themselves," Pierson wrote.

"Rittenhouse faces homicide and reckless endangerment charges and has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self defense. He could get life in prison if convicted, and that's what he deserves. His crocodile tears are fooling no one."

Kyle Rittenhouse tears
Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 10, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images