Shellie Zimmerman, who stood by her husband George Zimmerman throughout his murder trial for the death of Trayvon Martin, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News she is "going to have to think about" whether she stays married to him.
In a wide-ranging interview conducted by investigative freelance journalist Christi O'Connor, Zimmerman said on the evening Martin died she was staying elsewhere because the couple had got in an argument the night before. She added that the struggles of the last year and a half have further strained their relationship.
Shellie Zimmerman, who pleaded guilty to perjury Wednesday for lying about the couple's finances during her husband's bond hearing, refused to comment on whether she was pressured to do so.
But she said a part of her feels "slightly" like she was hung out to dry when he did not stand up for her when she lied to a judge about how much money they had received in donations from outsiders and that the entire ordeal has hurt their relationship.
Shellie Zimmerman declined to say whether she and her husband remain together, but did say she felt "very much alone" without him in the courtroom to support her when she pleaded guilty Wednesday.
"I can rationalize a lot of reasons for why I was misleading, but the truth is I knew that I was lying," Shellie Zimmerman said. "I wish a lot of things were different. I can't tell you how many times I have laid at night saying God, I wish these circumstances had been different."
Shellie and her husband spent a year and a half in hiding, isolated and in "terror" for their lives as they awaited the trial for the death of the unarmed teenager in 2012.
"I think we have been pretty much like gypsies…We've lived in a 20-foot trailer in the woods, scared every night that someone was going to find us and that we'd be out in the woods alone and that it would be horrific," she said.
|"scared every night that someone was going to find us and that we'd be out in the woods alone and that it would be horrific,"|
It put a strain on their marriage.
"It's difficult to communicate with your spouse when you're under so much scrutiny from both sides and I think we both have been fighting for our own individual struggles to be heard by each other and that's been difficult," she said.
Mrs. Zimmerman refused to go into details about the argument she had with her husband the night before Martin died that ended with her going to stay with her father, and did not want to give many details about their relationship.
"Does George have a temper? How volatile did it get the evening before?" asked O'Connor.
"Not going to answer that," responded Zimmerman.
The Zimmermans have lived with bodyguards since her arrest for perjury in June 2012, but she said she is thankful that they escaped most of the anger directed at her husband.
"It got very crazy. living with bodyguards. It kind of feels like you're with a babysitter. You really can't make any choices for yourself anymore…We were in hiding. We were in the woods."
During the ordeal she said she wished she stood up for herself more and that she felt like she was directed to do a lot of things by George and relinquished a lot of control to him, but she said she did so because she did not want to stress him out.
"George has never laid a hand on me nor has he ever used any sort of force. I was concerned that we were living in something that we'd never experienced before and that there is a first time for everything….I just always had that kind of fear in the back of mind," she said.
Mrs. Zimmerman says the experience that probably sticks out most in her mind was the moments immediately following the not guilty verdict.