SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - For the first time since he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman told his story during an interview with Sean Hannity that aired Wednesday night and Thursday, Barbara Walters took a shot at him after turning down an interview request.
"I'm not a racist, and I'm not a murderer," Zimmerman told Hannity during a recorded interview that aired on Fox News.
Zimmerman and his attorney, Mark O'Mara, agreed to sit down with Hannity in Sanford.
"Is there anything you would do different in retrospect, now that time has passed?" Hannity asked.
"No, sir," said Zimmerman. "I feel that it was all God's plan, and for me to second-guess it or judge it."
However, Martin's parents said they reject Zimmerman's claim that the shooting was a part of God's plan. Martin's father, Tracy Martin, said Zimmerman must worship a different God from them.
And speaking Thursday on a morning talk show, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said the idea was ridiculous.
On “The View” Thursday morning, Walters said she was supposed to interview Zimmerman, too, after Hannity, but that Zimmerman made some kind of "mystery request” she could not honor.
O’Mara then called into the show, but Walters shot back by saying, “Mr. Zimmerman, if you could not do the interview yesterday, I don't think we should do a quick one today. If in the future you feel differently, we will consider it."
Walters would not reveal the request Zimmerman made, but O’Mara said Zimmerman asked ABC to put up his wife someplace for 30 days, and the network refused.
Walters went on to say that Zimmerman was polite but that her meeting with him on Wednesday was bizarre and disappointing.
At the end of the Hannity interview, Zimmerman went back on that earlier statement, saying he wishes he wasn't in that position to take a life and said he's sorry to Martin's parents, his family, the city of Sanford and America.
"I do wish there was something, anything I could've done that wouldn't have put me in a position where I wouldn't have had to take his life," he said.
It was his first TV interview and the public's first chance to hear his side of the story about what happened the night he shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Martin.
Zimmerman told Hannity he has no regrets about following the unarmed teenager, carrying a gun or opening fire.
"Do you regret following?" Hannity asked.
"No, sir," replied Zimmerman.
"Do you regret you had a gun?" asked Hannity.
"No, sir," he replied.
Zimmerman said he at first didn't feel threatened until Martin threw the first punch.
"He said, 'You're going to die tonight, (expletive).' I felt it going down my chest towards my holster and I didn't have any more time," Zimmerman said.
He also said he did not know of Florida's Stand Your Ground Law prior to the shooting.
"I just think it's a tragic situation. I hope it's the most difficult thing I'll ever go through in my life," said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman also said he's offended by those who have rushed to judgment about him, but Tracy Martin responded, saying, “By him saying it's a rush to judgment; there was a rush to judgment for him to think Trayvon was suspicious.”
Zimmerman did apologize to Martin's parents and said he hopes to talk with them and offer his condolences.
Hannity asked Zimmerman what he would like to tell Martin's parents.
"I would tell them that, again, I'm sorry. My wife and I don't have any children," Zimmerman said. "I am sorry that they buried their child. I can't imagine what it must feel like, and I pray for them daily."
Zimmerman said he was not paid for the interview and clarified that Hannity did not offer to pay his legal fees in exchange for the interview.
Zimmerman also talked about the accusations that he molested a woman known as "Witness 9," saying that he was glad the FBI is looking into that issue.
O'Mara said he didn't plan to address the claims since those allegations wouldn't be admissible in court anyway.
Meanwhile, it could be nearly two weeks before the judge in the Zimmerman case makes a decision on whether to recuse himself.
Zimmerman wants a new judge because he believes Judge Kenneth Lester has shown bias in the case.
Lester is on vacation until July 27.
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