The Florida investigative journalist who is the first reporter to sit down with George Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, said that during their "stunning" hourlong interview, the acquitted killer's wife said that her husband has "beaten down her self-esteem," but she is "looking forward to getting her life back."
Christi O'Connor spoke with ABCNews.com today about her experience locking down an interview with Shellie Zimmerman as the media focused its attention on her husband, who was acquitted of second-degree murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, in Sanford, Fla., in February 2012.
Tune into "Good Morning America" on Thursday to see the exclusive interview with Shellie Zimmerman.
Today, Shellie Zimmerman was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and one year's probation, plus she will have to present an apology letter to the judge she lied to about the couple's finances. O'Connor said that after months of courting her and her attorney, she was able to secure the interview with Shellie about her life leading up to and since her husband's trial.
"When I asked her why she was doing [the interview], Shellie said, 'I want to start my life back.' George Zimmerman has beaten down her self-esteem," O'Connor told ABCNews.com, adding that Shellie is using this opportunity for a new start. "She has a moment in the spotlight. She wants everyone to know that she changed her life."
Shellie also told O'Connor that the aftermath of the shooting and months until the trial put a major strain on the couple's relationship.
"It put great stress on their marriage," she said. "Constantly having to move. She got threats. A lot of threats. She doesn't want to reveal from who…. They are constantly living under fear of being attacked."
O'Connor, who is working on a book about the George Zimmerman trial, also hinted that there was evidence that was mishandled, saying that during the sensational trial, "there were so many untruths told."
"What the jury never heard could have led to a different verdict," she said.
- George Zimmerman