John McAfee's Widow Blames U.S. and Its 'Politically Motivated Charges' for His Death

The widow of British-American anti-virus software entrepreneur John McAfee is blaming the U.S. and its "politically motivated charges" for his death, she said.

Janice McAfee, 38, told reporters her husband's final words to her were "I love you and I will call you in the evening," before he was found dead Wednesday at 75 in a prison cell in Spain as he was awaiting extradition to the U.S. He was imprisoned for being accused of tax evasion and Spanish authorities are maintaining it appears he committed suicide.

"I blame the U.S. authorities for this tragedy: Because of these politically motivated charges against him my husband is now dead," Janice McAfee said.

She also said her husband's last words to her were "not words of somebody who is suicidal," and is calling for a "thorough investigation" into his death. McAfee was arrested at Barcelona's airport in October 2020 after Tennessee prosecutors put out a warrant for him based on his alleged tax evasion.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Software Entrepreneur John McAfee
U.S. millionaire John McAfee gestures during an interview with AFP on his yacht anchored at the Marina Hemingway in Havana, on June 26, 2019. McAfee's widow Janice McAfee is blaming the U.S. and its "politically motivated charges" for his death. Adalberto Roque/AFP via Getty Images

Authorities in Spain are conducting an autopsy on McAfee's body.

Janice McAfee spoke to reporters outside the Brians 2 penitentiary northwest of Barcelona where she recovered her late husband's belongings.

It was her first public remarks since the software entrepreneur's death.

Prosecutors in Tennessee were seeking up to three decades of imprisonment for John McAfee for allegedly evading more than $4 million in taxes.

The day before he was found dead, Spain's National Court had announced it was agreeing to his extradition to the U.S. but the decision was not final.

"We had a plan of action already in place to appeal that decision," Janice McAfee told reporters.

Results of McAfee's autopsy could take "days or weeks," authorities have said.

The couple reportedly met in 2012 in Miami and married the following year. John McAfee had several children from previous relationships, Janice McAfee said.

The entrepreneur had not been connected with the companies that took over the antivirus software he built after he sold his shares in the 1990s. That early success had made McAfee rich and followed him in his troubled biography.

In 2012, he was sought for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor in Belize, but was never charged with a crime. The controversy didn't stop him from making long-shot runs for the U.S. presidency starting in 2016.

But it was his more recent tax problems that kept him away from the U.S., the country where the British-born entrepreneur was raised and had built his early success.

The Tennessee prosecutors' indictments from 2020 showed the tycoon allegedly failed to declare income made by promoting cryptocurrencies, attending speaking engagements and selling the rights for a documentary on his eventful life.

"Even though he was born in England, America was his home," Janice McAfee said. "He came there when he was a child. He had his first girlfriend there, his first case, you know, his first job. He made his first millions there and he wanted to be there. But, you know, politics just wouldn't allow for that to happen."

John McAfee's social media postings indicated he had chosen a northeastern Spanish coastal resort town as his base in Europe at least since late 2019.

"All John wanted to do was spend his remaining years fishing and drinking," his widow said on Friday. "He had hope that things would work out. We knew that there would be an uphill battle to continue to fight this situation. But he's a fighter...And anybody that knows John, that knows him even a little bit, knows that about him."

"He was just so loving. He had a big heart and he just loved people and he just wanted to have peace in his life," Janice McAfee added. "My prayers are that his soul has found the peace in death that he could not find in life.

John McAfee's Widow Janice
Lawyer Javier Villalba, left and John McAfee's wife Janice speak briefly with journalists on leaving the Brians 2 penitentiary center in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, near Barcelona, northeast Spain, on Friday. Joan Mateu/AP Photo