The ex wife of suspected Orlando gay bar shooter Omar Mateen claims her former spouse beat her during their relationship.
The wife first came forward Sunday in an anonymous interview with the Washington Post before revealing her own identity later that same day to reporters outside her Colorado home.
“He was not a stable person,” the ex-wife, now identified as Sitora Yusufiy, told the Post. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
Mateen, 29, died Sunday morning after police believe he killed at least 49 people during an early morning assault rifle attack at Pulse nightclub.
“I didn’t have any knowledge or feeling of his instability,” she said of her brief marriage to Mateen. “My parents actually did not feel good about it. But I guess I was in a stage of really wanting to make my own decisions and be independent. So I decided to go on with it anyway, and go to Florida and marry him.”
The attack is being called the worst ever mass shooting in America's long history of gun violence.
Yusufiy said she married Mateen about eight years ago after meeting him online.
When they first met, “he seemed like a normal human being,” the woman said.
However, after she said violence became the norm in the home, the woman's family flew to Florida to help her get out of their home.
The woman said she fled with none of her possessions. She said, in the wake of the attack Sunday, that she feels lucky to be alive.
“I’m blessed to have the family that I do because they saved me from death,” she said.
Yusufiy also recalled her ex-husband's propensity to make homophobic statements when he was angry.
"There were definitely moments when he’d express his intolerance toward homosexuals," she said.
Mateen was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, the woman said.
Mateen's father disavowed his son's alleged actions. In an interview with NBC News, the father described an incident in Miami in which his son became enraged after seening two men kiss.
“We were in downtown Miami," Mir Seddique said. “He saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kids and he got very angry. They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.’ And then we were in the men’s bathroom and men were kissing each other.”