Omar Mateen's ex-wife said Mateen was living a double life.
During an interview with CNN, Sitora Yusufiy was asked if her ex-husband, Omar Mateen, was gay. She sat in silence before answering, “I don’t know,” the New York Daily News reported.
Yusufiy said she had met Mateen online in 2009 and they got married shortly after. They separated after Mateen became violent and started beating her.
“When we had gotten married, he confessed to me about his past - that was recent at that time - and that he very much enjoyed going to clubs and the nightlife," Yusufiy told CNN. "So, I feel like it's a side of him or a part of him that he lived but probably didn't want everybody to know about."
Yusufiy made another appearance on a Brazilian TV station with her current fiance, Marcio Dias. Dias said Yusufiy told him Mateen had “gay tendencies,” and that Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, would frequently call him gay in front of Yusufiy.
Yusufiy also said she didn’t believe Mateen’s attack was motivated by radical Islam, despite reports that Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS during a phone call to police during the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that took at least 49 lives and left several others wounded.
“The FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media,” Dias told the TV station.
“After a few months he started to beat me,” Yusufiy added. “He was mentally unstable… he was obviously disturbed. I know he had a history of [taking] steroids.”
Seddique Mateen refuted claims that his son was living a double life. He told NBC News that his son snapped after seeing two men kissing recently in Miami.
But several witnesses, including Pulse club workers, are now coming forward, claiming that Mateen was a regular at the gay nightclub.
“That’s bullcrap, right there. No offense,” Ty Smith told the Canadian Press. “That’s straight-up crap. He’s been around us.”
“Some of those people did a little more than [kiss] outside the bar,” said Chris Callen, Smith’s boyfriend. “He was partying with the people who supposedly drove him to do this?"
Callen and Smith added that Mateen began visiting Pulse regularly in 2013.
“[He’d get] really, really drunk. ... He couldn’t drink when he was at home — around his wife, or family. His father was really strict. ... He used to bitch about it,” Smith said.
Other reports indicate that Mateen had online profiles on popular dating apps such as Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam, which he would use to contact other men.
A former classmate in Mateen’s 2006 police academy class told WFTV that Mateen had once asked him out on a date.
“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate, who wished not to be identified, said. “He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him. He was always socially awkward.”