Ricky Martin insists he’s a “man with no secrets” in a new interview with People.
The singer chats to the magazine to mark the start of Pride Month, sharing his coming-out story for the second annual “Pride” issue.
Martin is married to Syrian-Swedish artist Jwan Yosef, with the pair tying the knot back in 2017. They share four kids, all under the age of 13.
In the interview, the singer discusses feeling “violated” by that infamous Barbara Walters interview in 2010, in which she asked him to confirm or deny his homosexuality on national television.
“You could stop these rumours,” Walters insisted at the time. “You could say, ‘Yes I am gay or no I’m not.'”
Martin, who would come out publicly 10 years later on his website, insisted: “I just don’t feel like it.”
He recalls, “When she dropped the question. I felt violated. I was not ready to come out. I was afraid. There’s a little PTSD with that.”
Martin, who admits he’s suffered with anxiety for a lot of his life and is “super socially awkward,” dated women publicly and at times men privately throughout the ’90s and 2000s.
“A lot of people have said, ‘Rick, you were trying to prove yourself, because of fame and being a sex symbol.’ Well, yeah, it could be. I don’t know. Everyone knows you don’t have to be a gay man to know that love is complicated. Or to know how confusing attraction can be,” he shares.
Martin says that, before he came out, he was confused, questioning: “Am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I confused? What am I?”
He shares how he mostly dated “lots of women,” including TV presenter Rebecca de Alba for seven years, from 1995 to 2002.
“Sexuality is one complicated thing,” he says. “It’s not black and white. It’s filled with colours. When I was dating women, I was in love with women. It felt right, it felt beautiful. You can’t fake chemistry —the chemistry was there with them. I wasn’t misleading anyone.”
The interview also sees Martin praise the new generation of LGBTQ artists.
“They’re so resolved in so many ways. I wish I had half the oomph that they have,” he gushes. “Lil Nas X, for example, I’ve learned it is so important to be in touch with your feminine side.”
He admits that, of all his accomplishments, the hardest won is how he feels in his heart, telling the mag: “I’m a man with no secrets.”
The “Livin’ La Vida Loca” hitmaker then reveals that he has been “disappointed” with the lack of acting offers, despite nabbing an Emmy nomination for “The Assassination of Gianna Versace: American Crime Story”.
“I love acting,” he says. “I’m waiting for those scripts, for those great scripts. I can play gay, I can play straight, I can play a serial killer. I can play Latin but I can also play European. I am ready. Just give it to me, man. Give it to me.
“I just want to tap into anything that has to do with acting. I love theatre, too,” Martin goes on. “I want to tell a story. That’s what I want. I want to tell an important story, and I want to change the way people see life in general towards some more optimistic way.”
He explains how a few years ago he was told by a music label executive that he’d be selling more records if he’d never come out.
Martin tells the mag, “That was something that really affected me. And I was like, ‘Am I really dealing with this? They’re not playing my music in this country because I’m gay? Is this really happening?’ We’re talking about four years ago. This executive doesn’t work for the record company anymore. He was fired. But I felt it. It hit me hard.
“I don’t know if I’m not getting parts because I’m gay,” he admits. “But if that’s the case, it’s really sad. I’m going to keep working until life is different.”