The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mother urged people not to label him a "monster" as he proclaimed his innocence in an exclusive interview with NBC New York.
Fotis Dulos, 51, and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, were arrested in early June in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, 50, who was last seen in Connecticut on May 24 after dropping her children off at school.
Lawyers for Fotis Dulos have implied that Jennifer Dulos staged her own disappearance, claims that her family and friends have denied.
"I know what I've done, I know what I haven't done," Fotis Dulos said. "I have to stand and fight and hope the truth is going to come out."
He and Troconis pleaded not guilty to charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution after surveillance footage showed the pair discarding items that had Jennifer Dulos' blood on them. Prosecutors said Fotis Dulos’ DNA was found in his wife’s home.
Fotis Dulos told NBC New York that he's been in shock over what's happened in the past month, including his arrest and spending time in jail.
"When it all started, I said this cannot be true, I must be dreaming," he said. "I’m wearing orange, I'm in a cell … this cannot be true."
He said he knows that some have already convicted him in the court of public opinion, but still has faith in the criminal justice system.
"I think they should wait. I have faith in the system, and in the police and the legal system, and hopefully we’ll have some answers soon," he said. "I never follow the tabloids, and I don't care about the threats."
Though he maintains authorities have wrongfully pursued him in his wife's disappearance, Fotis Dulos asserted that he doesn't blame police or prosecutors for his arrest.
"I think with information they had, they did best they could, I understand they had tremendous pressure on them," he said. "Statistically when this happens, 90 or 95 percent [of the time], it’s the spouse. So I understand why people feel like this."
Norm Pattis, a lawyer for Fotis Dulos, claimed last Sunday that his office had found a mystery novel Jennifer Dulos wrote that is similar to “Gone Girl,” the best-selling book later adapted into an Oscar-nominated film in which a woman stages her own disappearance and frames her husband for her murder.
“We have been provided a very dark, 500-plus page novel Jennifer wrote,” Pattis said in a statement. “We don’t know what had become of Jennifer, but the 'Gone Girl' hypothesis is very much on our mind.”
Carrie Luft issued a statement on behalf of Jennifer Dulos' family and friends rejecting the claims.
"I read Jennifer’s novel in installments as she was completing the manuscript. She finished the draft around 2002. (This was before she was dating Fotis Dulos)," the statement said.
Jennifer Dulos filed for divorce from her husband, Fotis, in June 2017, according to State of Connecticut Judicial Branch records. Since then, more than 400 filings have been entered as the couple tried to settle matters of child custody and visitation, alimony and child support.
Both had, at some point, filed for emergency orders for sole custody of the children, but a judge denied those motions, and the pair had joint custody of the children pending the finalization of the divorce. They were due to attend five upcoming hearings through August.