1NEWS – Latin singer Gloria Estefan revealed that she was sexually abused at the age of nine by a music teacher who was still a relative.
The “Turn the Beat Around” singer spoke for the first time about her sexual abuse on an episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans released on Facebook Watch last Thursday. The Facebook Watch event is hosted by Gloria, her daughter Emily, and her niece, Lili.
Gloria said the man had threatened to kill her mother if she spoke about the abuse. “He is family, but not immediate family. He was in a position of power because my mother put me in his music school. He told my mother how talented I was and how much I needed special attention from her,” said Estefan who is now 64 years old.
“It (the harassment) started little by little and then it happened quickly. I knew it was a dangerous situation and I rebelled and told him this couldn’t happen and he couldn’t do this. He then said: ‘Your father is here. Vietnam, your mother is alone and I will kill her if you tell her,’” Estefan said.
Estefan said he then started making up excuses to avoid music lessons. when he finally told his mother about the abuse, he called the police. However, they prevented Estefan’s family from taking the matter further on the grounds that Gloria would be traumatized if she testified in court. “That’s the only thing that makes me feel bad knowing that there must be another victim.”
Gloria said that when her mother asked other family members about the man, an aunt told her she had also been the victim of abuse by the same person for years.
Gloria Estefan, who was born in Cuba and went to Miami as a child, became one of the biggest Latin pop stars of the 1980s and 1990s, with hits like Conga and Get On Your Feet.
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