Confessed Norway mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik may have been struggling with homosexuality in the period leading up to him allegedly killing 77 people in 2011, former friends of his have testified at a hearing.
Breivik's trial, which seeks to determine whether the alleged mass murderer was sane or not while carrying out the attacks, produced a surprising revelation on Tuesday when four of his former friends testified that he had also been suffering from depression, moved back in with his mother and cut down social contact greatly. Some of them had only kept occasional contact with their friend in the months leading up to the killings, The Associated Press shared.
One former friend even said that Breivik, 33, had shown "feminine behavior and used makeup,"
was unsuccessful in relationships with women, and may have been gay. "I believed he was in a deep depression or that he was a homosexual who did not want to come out in public about it,"
the friend, who was not identified, shared.
The massacre at a liberal youth camp retreat at Utoya Island on July 22, 2011 resulted in 69 casualties, while a bomb that Breivik allegedly planted in central Oslo killed eight others. Breivik has confessed to his actions, but denies criminal intent, saying that as a Christian defender of Norway
, he wanted to drive out Muslims and battle acceptance of Muslims that he believes are taking over his country.
If found criminally sane, Breivik will face up to 21 years in prison, the maximum penalty under Norway's legal system. If deemed insane, however, he would be committed to compulsory psychiatric care for as he is deemed a danger to society.
On another note, Breivik's friends also attested that the 33-year-old had undergone surgery on his nose, because he believed it was too big and he was teased for having an "Arab" nose.
Breivik, however, denied the claims at the end of Tuesday's hearing, and said that he had never been depressed, and the reason why he wore makeup sometimes was to cover up pimples. He did not directly respond to allegations that he was gay, however.
He also added that he distanced himself from his friends as he was planning the attacks because they did not support him ideologically and he did not want to get them involved.
The trial is set to continue until the end of June.