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Transcript of interview with man who claims to be former lover of Orlando gunman

This is a full transcript of the exclusive interview by Univision's Maria Elena Salinas with the man who claims he was the lover of Omar Mateen, author of the June 12 attack on Pulse, a gay Orlando night club
23 Jun 2016 – 10:41 PM EDT

Omar Mateen, the Muslim gunman who committed the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, was "100 percent" gay but bore a grudge against Latino men because he felt used by them, according to a man who says he was his lover for two months.

The man, who did not want his true identity revealed, agreed to an interview wearing a disguise and calling himself Miguel. Speaking in fluent Spanish and accented English, he said he met Mateen last year through a gay dating site and began a relationship soon after.

Univision was unable to independently verify his account. The FBI confirmed to Univision that it had met with him.

This is a transcript of the interview conducted in English:

Maria Elena Salinas: Why is the FBI interrogating you?

Miguel: The FBI [is] interrogating me because they start to put the post in the news about they looking for information about gay people who have intercourse with Omar over gay apps like Grindr and Jack’d and the other one is Adam4Adam. So I can tell you I got freaked out, I got very paranoid, so I speak to my therapist and my social workers, I [was] crying a lot, and I decide before they show up at my house -- because they’re going to find me sooner or later -- I decide to approach the office, I identify myself and I tell them, who I am.

MES: You had a relationship with Omar Mateen?

Miguel: Yes, I had a relationship with Omar Mateen.

MES: Did you have sex with him?

Miguel: Yes I do.

MES: Did you have a long relationship with him?

Miguel: I [do] not consider [it] long because [it] was only two months. But yes, we were "friends with benefits."

MES: Did you ever detect any kind of violence actions or violent attitudes from him?

Miguel: Not at all. I never detected anything. He was a very sweet guy, very cuddly. He loved to be cuddled. That’s one of the things I start to see from him. He [was] looking for love. To be embraced.

MARRIAGE AND RELIGION

MES: Did he ever talk about his religion?

Miguel: Yes, I ask him about his religions.

MES: And what did he say?

Miguel: I ask him about the Muslim religion and he say Muslim religion is a beautiful, spiritual religion. It’s a religion where everything’s about love, where everybody’s welcome – gay, trans, bisexual, hetero, everybody.

MES: Did you ever talk about his family?

Miguel: Yes, I asked him, well not directly. But one of those days he approached to my hotel room we had [a] conversation. He said he had to talk to me about something. That’s when I asked him, I’m looking for someone I can have sex [with]. Be a friend with benefits. He told me he had to confess something: I have a wife and I have a son.

MES: He told you he was married and that he had a son?

Miguel: Yes.

MES: And you continued the relationship?

Miguel: The day he told me that, I got mad, I [said] why don’t you come … he walk away… but later he contact me. He apologized, I remember about that. He told me. I ask him. Your wife knows about this? And he says, “My wife knows everything.”

MES: His wife knew he was gay?

Miguel: Yes, his wife knew he was gay. She accepted it. For him, being married was because his father forced him to marry. They [weren’t] married [because they were in love]. No. It was a convenience – an [arranged] marriage.

MES: Did his father know he was gay?

Miguel: You know what, after all this, sometimes I think he [did]. But he [could not] accept that.

MATEEN'S MOTIVE

MES: Why do you think Omar Mateen went into Pulse on that Saturday night and killed 49 people?

Miguel: To tell you the truth, after we had the conversation about the two Puerto Rican[s] who he have the threesome and then one of the Puerto Ricans told him ‘I’m HIV positive and I’m sorry I don’t say nothing’. Plus, all the rejections he got. I believe, I really think all his anger – he [hated] gay Puerto Ricans for all the bad thing[s] they [did] to him. This will sound bad and I know a lot of people going to get a lot of pain for what I’m going to say. But I believe this crazy horrible thing he did – that was a revenge.

MES: You think this was not terrorism.

Miguel: Not at all. Like I told to the FBI if you are a terrorist and you really wanna kill a lot of people you don’t go to Pulse. Pulse is nothing compared to Parliament. Parliament is a disco, a hotel and a bar. And [a lot of people go there].

HOTEL ENCOUNTERS

MES: Parliament is a bar and a nightclub where you would meet with him?

Miguel: That’s where we met, yeah.

MES: And you would go to your hotel?

Miguel: From the second time we met that’s when he would go with me to the hotel.

MES: How many times did he go with you to the hotel?

Miguel: At least, between 15 and 20 times… in the same room.

MES: What hotel is this?

Miguel: The Ambassador Hotel. West Orlando, west Colonial. That’s the Ambassador.

MES: How do I know if what you’re telling me is true?

Miguel: Well, if [the] FBI contacts the hotel – they told me they tried to request all the videos – they can see me [going] in and out and they can see Omar walking through, to go to my room, or any rooms – that’s the thing, the lobby has double doors on both sides, you don’t have to go through the lobby to go to any rooms, you can walk in through the two big gates they have. And the area, it’s not the best area, that’s [a] very bad area in Orlando. So you can walk around and I know they have video cameras because I see the video cameras. They can see me and Omar, alone, maybe they can find one time he walked [out] with me but he stayed almost to the front of the hotel and I cross the street to buy a pizza. But that’s the place where most of the time I used to buy food, the 7-11 across the street from the hotel.

MES: What was the time span of your relationship?

Miguel: One day he spent the whole night, one day. But the other days, I think he had to go to work, I never asked really, he spend time maybe 10 oclock he comes early.

HOW THE RELATIONSHIP BEGAN

MES: When did this relationship begin?

Miguel: This relationship began when we met on Grindr.

MES: What date?

Miguel: I say. I remember, election day, I remember that because that’s the day we started to chat. I remember that, I was in my fitness. He [texted] me.

MES: When?

Miguel: The last days [of] October – days before Halloween. He say hi by Grindr. I [had seen] him before.

He had an account on JackD and Adam4Adam. But I never contacted him before.

MES: That’s when everything started?

Miguel: Yes.

MES: And then he met with you?

Miguel: Yes.

MES: And then you had this relationship?

Miguel: Yes.

MES: For how long was the relationship?

Miguel: The relationship was between the whole November and actually the whole December. Two months.

MES: So during that time there would be proof between security videos, surveillance videos, that there was several encounters between you and Omar Mateen in the Ambassador.

Miguel: Yes. Also from Parliament. If they pull the video from Parliament, they can see when we met over there. I [was] walking with him. And he got a drink. Nighttime. And he offered me. I told him I don’t drink alcohol. I ask him for cranberry juice, that’s my favorite juice.


FEAR AND A DISGUISE

MES: We’ve altered your appearance. Why is important for you not to show your face?

Miguel: It’s important for me because I don’t know what kind of reaction his father can have. Also I don’t know what kind of reaction this organization ISIS can have too. I know by the news, as soon he did what he did, ISIS say we did it.

MES: You fear for your life?

Miguel: Yes, a lot. A lot. And I feel bad for what happened. But in the same time I feel it’s my responsibility as a citizen of the United States and a gay man – they can’t even think this was a terrorist. They need to go something. By today, it’s too many questions that have to be answered.

WAS IT TERRORISM?

MES: Even though Omar Mateen said to the police on 911 calls he was doing this in the name of ISIS?

Miguel: I believe they not terrorists.

MES: Why would you say that?

Miguel: Maybe he wanted to die as a hero for something horrible he [did]. He think he probably… He was in huge argument, fight with his father, the way his father think about Islam is not the way Omar always think.

MES: What was the difference?

Miguel: The difference. When I ask him about the Muslim religion, Omar tell me – Islam, the Muslim, is about love. Spiritual. Everybody’s welcome, everybody’s accepted. But his father [said] no – gay people is the most denigrated person we can have on this earth. Gay people is the devil and gay people have to die.

MES: That’s what his father would tell him?

Miguel: Yes. He told me: If my father find out I’m gay, [he’s] not going to kill me… And I say why? And he say, He’s going to kill you… because he probably want to forgive me but in order to get his forgiveness I have to honor him. And the only way I can honor him is to kill you.

MES: He told you that?

Miguel: I told him your father [is] crazy.

MES: You weren’t scared to continue the relationship with him?

Miguel: After that I … I go to the shower. And he [said] he had to go. But he left. And like 2, 3 days later that’s when he contact[ed] me and come back. And I told him I’m still thinking about what you told me about your father. He told me don’t worry.

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