TODAY

TODAY   |  September 26, 2013

Zimmerman’s wife: I ‘regret’ not pressing charges

In an exclusive interview, George Zimmerman’s estranged wife, Shellie, tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer that “I have doubts but I also believe the evidence” presented in the trial for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. She also says that she regrets not pressing charges after a Sept. 9 private dispute with her husband.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> shelly zimmerman stood by her husband george as we waited to stand by for the trial of the shooting death of trayvon martin . following his acquittal, she filed for divorce. we will talk to shelly zimmerman exclusively in a moment. first, kerry sanders looks back at the zimmerman case and the marriage in the public eye .

>> reporter: shelly zimmerman stood by her husband george in the shooting death of trayvon martin .

>> we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty.

>> reporter: in july, george zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder charges and less than two months after the charges, shelly filed for divorce. saying in the document the marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken. the dispute spilled into the public eye at shelly zimmerman 's father's house.

>> i don't know what he's capable of. i'm really scared.

>> reporter: after the call, police rushed to the home and briefly detained george zimmerman .

>> get on your knees, cross your feet, according to a report, shelly told them george punched her father in the nose and smashed her ipad. george said shelly 's father was the aggressor and shelly hit george with the ipad. no charges were filed, no guns were found. at a news conference shortly after the incident, shelly zimmerman barely spoke.

>> no, she's not feeling that great.

>> reporter: her lawyer telling reporters, shelly zimmerman just wants to move on with her life. nbc news, miami.

>> we want to mention that george zimmerman sued nbc for deafmation. the company strongly denies his allegation. shelly zimmerman is here with her attorney. we reached out to george zimmerman 's representatives for statements. they said they were not interested in commenting. shelly , good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> i want to start, i i don't want to dwell with it. i want to start with that and in few weeks ago. you said he had his hand on a gun, he was threatening you. you said he was going to shoot you when you called 911, that he continually had his hand on that gun. as you know, police say they never confiscated a gun. they never even laid eyes on a gun. do you stand by your story completely?

>> absolutely. i absolutely stand by my story.

>> you saw a gun, you saw him place his hand on a gun? you had visual contact or confirmation he had a gun and was threatening you with it.

>> i did not see a gun, but i saw. i know my husband. i saw him in a stance and a look in his eyes that i have never seen before. his shirt was halfway unbuttoned and he was putting nice hand in his shirt and saying please step closer, pleads step closer, so i think that logically i assumed he had a gun on him.

>> you also said to that 911 operator , i don't know what he's capable of. and those words struck me, shelly . i don't know what he's capable of. they're inflammatorytory words considering your husband was just acquitted on murder charges were were they used intentionally to raise questions? to raise doubts about not only his behavior during this altercation but perhaps his behavior on the night that trayvon martin was shot?

>> no, they weren't intentional. i really don't know what he is capable of. this person that i am married to that i'm divorcing, i've kind of realized now that i don't know him and i really don't know what he is capable o. i saw a look in his eyes that i have never seen before that day.

>> few don't know what he is capable of. you say he threatened you with a gun. he punched your father in the nose, why dun press charges?

>> in hooivendsight, i should have, i really regret that. but i'm on probation and the officers made it very clear that day that if i press charges, we were all going to go to jail and i would have been the only one to stay there.

>> you mentioned you were on probation. you are going through divorce, my experience over the years tells me that when emotion run high, there are three stories, there is his story, her story and the truth which is somewhere in the middle. but you also pled guilty to perjury charges, based on something you said in a bail hearing for george zimmerman . it was clearly untrue. do you have credibility issues as you sit here this morning?

>> i think i do have credibility issues and i own that. and i'm a grown woman and i made a mistake and i i don't know e own that. but the truth is the truth and i want to always forever more tell the truth. that's why i'm here.

>> you stood by him through this entire trial. i cried when he was acquitted. i would imagine those were tears of joy.

>> they were.

>> a short time later you filed for divorce. are you telling me he's changed that dramatically since the trial that forced you to do that?

>> yes, we have.

>> in what way?

>> he just kind of treated me like i was disposable.

>> you mean after standing by him?

>> yes, after standing by him. he kind of left and i guess kind of went on a victory tour without me and i thought that i was living a life with him and that we were going to kind of rebuild after all of this and he had other plans for me.

>> through owl after this, with all you are now going through, i mean, with the divorce and this altercation, has it changed your perspective at all on what he's told you what happened the night that trayvon martin was shot and killed? do you still believe the story that we have all heard from him?

>> i'm conflicted on that. i believe the evidence, but this revelation in my life has really helped me to take the minders off and start to see things.

>> let me make sure i understand. so you now doubt his innocence, at least the fact that he was acting on self-defense on the notice that trayvon martin was killed?

>> i think anyone would doubt that innocence because i don't know the person that i have been married to.

>> that's a dramatic change. i mean, you didn't seem to doubt his innocence during the entire trial. you stood right there by his side. you went into hiding with him. you faced death threats with him. you lied under oath for him. and now you are saying you have doubts?

>> i have doubts. but i also believe the evidence.

>> one of the jurors in this case, i think it was juror '0329 said george zimmerman got away from murder but you can't get away from god. in your opinion, did the justice system work here?

>> i think so. i respect the jury's decision. they saw more evidence than i've seen.

>> and can you look me in the eye and tell me that you don't believe your husband profiled trayvon martin ?

>> yes, he did not profile trayvon martin .

>> so had trayvon martin been white, you think the night would have ended in the same tragic fashion?

>> yes, i do.

>> where do you do from here, shelly ?

>> focusing on myself. i lost 40 pounds since the trial. really taking care of myself, moving forward with my life.

>> have you been able to file papers for the divorce?

>> the zwors filed, we have not served.

>> do you know where he is?

>> no.

>> you have had no altercation since that incident?

>> yes.

>> we will keep that it way?

>> yes, we will.