A man claiming to be Orlando shooter Omar Mateen’s lover said the gunman wanted revenge against gay Puerto Ricans because of an unprotected threesome he had had in his past, Univision reported Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with the Spanish language network, the man, identified as ‘Miguel’, said he had met Mateen on a gay dating app and had been in a sexual relationship with him for two months.
“He hated Puerto Rican gays because of the bad things they did to him,” Miguel told Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas.
He said said Mateen was attracted to Latinos but despised Puerto Ricans, and “had rage” against them because one of the members of the threesome later disclosed he had HIV.
Univision was careful to note that it has not been able to independently verify the man’s story, but said the FBI confirmed that officials have been actively questioning him.
Miguel’s voice was disguised and was wearing a mask and makeup to disguise his appearance in the video interview.
“We never took a picture together, but it wasn’t because I didn’t want to,” he said to Univision. “One time we were in bed together and I took my phone to take a selfie and he grabbed my arm and told me not to do it because we weren’t a couple.”
“I’ve spent about four days of hell because my phone won’t stop ringing,” “Miguel” said.
“I believe this is not terrorism,” he added. “He said the Muslim religion is a beautiful, beautiful religion, where everything is about love.”
Despite the man’s claims, Mateen pledged his allegiance to ISIS and demanded that the U.S. stop bombing Syria and Iraq in 911 calls made during his attack.
Miguel also shared details of his first date with the shooter, telling Univision they visited a bar in Orlando called Parliament House. “It was like any other date,” he recounts.
He adds that they often had oral sex and that Mateen “loved to be cuddled… he loved to be embraced”.
The man also says that every subsequent meeting they had took place at the city’s Ambassador hotel, where they met 15 to 20 times between October and December 2015.
Univision reports that a representative for the hotel confirmed that Omar Mateen was a familiar face, and that he stayed at the hotel at least 63 times last year.
The FBI confirms they have obtained CCTV footage from the hotel.
The man also says it became clear to him that Mateen fostered a deep hatred for his own sexuality and for Puerto Rican gay men.
It was Latin night at Pulse on the night of Mateen’s attack, and law enforcement officials said Mateen visited Pulse earlier that night perhaps to check the level of security there. He left and returned two hours later with a semi-automatic weapon and opened fire shortly after 2am, just as the club was about to close. Mateen killed 49 people in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.