The 73-year-old male lover of Nice terrorist Mohamed Labouaiej Bouhlel has given an exclusive interview to Paris Match.
Bouhlel, 31, killed 84 people and injured 300 others in Nice on 14 July when he ploughed an 18-tonne lorry into crowds watching a firework display on the Promenade des Anglais.
His deadly rampage was halted when he was shot and killed by police.
ISIS have said that Bouhlel was a ‘soldier’ acting on their behalf, although no direct connection between the group and killer has been proved.
Five other people have since been arrested by police in connection with the crime.
Bouhlel, who had dual French-Tunisian citizenship, was known to be an ISIS-sympathizer, and in the weeks before the massacre had appeared to adopt a more hardline religious lifestyle.
However, previous to this, there is evidence that he visited brothels and had relationships with both men and women. He was also know to drink alcohol and eat pork.
He was married to a woman and was father to three children but the two had separated a couple of years before the Bastille Day killings.
‘My best friend was a murderer, a criminal. If he had a grave I would spit on it’
A 73-year-old gay man has been identified by police as Bouhlel’s ‘principal lover’. The unnamed man has now given an interview to Paris Match in which he expresses horror at Bouhlel’s crime and reveals a little more about their relationship.
He says that he had been in a ‘friendship’ with Bouhlel for seven years, but only now realizes what was going on inside the younger man’s head.
‘My best friend was a murderer, a criminal. If he had a grave I would spit on it.’
He said that Bouhlel seemingly went a change in personality in the weeks leading up to the attack.
‘Momo [Bouhlel’s nickname] was somewhere else. He couldn’t look us in the eyes. In one month he had changed.
‘He asked me: “Tell me dear friend – he always called me dear friend – is it expensive to rent a truck? Do you know whether you have to leave a credit card or can you pay by cheque or cash? And if I don’t give my credit card, can I still hire one?”
‘I asked him why he was asking and what he wanted the truck for. He laughed and said: “It’s not for me. I’m asking for a friend – as a favor.” I said “Bugger that”.’
‘[Bouhlel was] tender, kind and didn’t like confrontation … but also frustrated and easily influenced’
He talked of being a friend to both Bouhlel and his wife – and said she had called him once after Bouhlel had hit her.
He described Bouhlel as, ‘tender, kind and didn’t like confrontation. But he was also frustrated and easily influenced. We talked about the jihadists but he told me: “I don’t care about the war. What interests me is fucking. You know I can do this five, six times a day”.’
Investigators have spoken of Bouhlel having ‘unbridled sexual activity’ before his conversion to radical Islam, and former male and female lovers have described him as a ‘sex maniac’. It’s known he also searched the internet for information on previous terrorist massacres, including the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
His elder lover told Paris Match, ‘One night I had dinner with him, about two months ago, and he asked me if I’d seen videos of Daesh. I said no, then he opened his computer and showed me terrible things. After three seconds I looked and asked how he could watch stuff like that. He replied very calmly : “I’m used to it.”’ – Read more at: http://scl.io/Rzf3lByo#gs.oNBM6R0