Betty Yettaw of Missouri says it wasn't the first time her husband, John William Yettaw, 53, visited Suu Kyi.
"He probably thought he would be in and out and no one would know, because that's what happened before," Yettaw told The Daily Telegraph. "He just wanted to get some comments from her."
Instead, he was arrested as he swam away from the house wearing a pair of flippers he had fashioned from a pair of sandals and some wood.
Already psychologically scarred by the Vietnam War, Yettaw was tipped over the edge by the death of his teenage son two years ago, the Telegraph reported Friday.
His intrusion prompted Myanmar's ruling generals to transfer Suu Kyi to Yangon's notorious Insein prison.
Yettaw faces five years in prison for entering a restricted zone and one year for immigration offensives.