Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor would have preferred to stay on the Supreme Court for several more years until she was ill and “really in bad shape” but stepped down because of her ailing husband.

O’Connor, 76, also says she accelerated her retirement announcement by at least a year because then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who was battling thyroid cancer, told her he was not ready to leave the Court, according to a Newsweek interview released Sunday.