A day after describing her former husband Omar Mateen as a “sick person” who routinely beat and verbally abused her during their brief marriage, Sitora Yusufiy told a Brazilian TV station that Mateen exhibited “gay tendencies.” Yusufiy also said Mateen’s father had called him gay in front of her, and she said she was instructed by investigators to not share those observations with American media outlets. Indeed, during an appearance on CNN, when Yusufiy was asked whether Mateen was gay, she paused for an extended period before finally answering, “I don’t know.” Mateen’s attack on a popular gay nightclub in Orlando left 49 others in addition to himself dead, and wounded another 53. Authorities are still trying to identify a motive in the case.
Yusufiy’s claims seem to correlate with others made by a former classmate of Mateen’s who said Mateen was gay and accompanied him to gay clubs. It also echoes witnesses who say they saw Mateen drinking at Pulse multiple times prior to Sunday morning’s attack, and that they recognized him from gay dating apps that he purportedly used.
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) June 14, 2016
These revelations come as mystery continues to swirl around Noor Zahi Salman, Mateen’s widow, with whom he had a young son. According to one report, she has not been cooperating with police. Late Monday night, she was spotted leaving the apartment she shared with Mateen, covering her head with a sweatshirt to obscure her face from TV cameras. Little is known about Salman, who has been keeping a low profile since the massacre. According to the New York Daily News, Salman moved in with Mateen in 2012 and they later bought a home together. However, in December of 2015, Salman moved to California to live with her family.