WARNING: This article contains graphic depictions of sexual assault.
Gloria Estefan is opening up about some traumatic experiences from her past.
During Thursday’s episode of “Red Table Talk: The Estefans”, the singer, 64, revealed, for the first time, she was sexually abused by a family member at just 9-years-old.
“Ninety-three percent of abused children know and trust their abusers. And I know this because I was one of them,” she said, revealing the abuse started while she attended a music school taught by a distant relative, someone her mother “trusted.”
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“He was in a position of power because my mother had put me in his music school, and he immediately started telling her how talented I was, and how I needed special attention, and she felt lucky that he was focusing this kind of attention on me,” Estefan recalled. “He put it in a way of, ‘Oh, you’re so good at this, and let me teach you whatever.’ And then, it starts little by little and then it goes fast.”
She continued, “I revolted and I told him, ‘This cannot happen, you cannot do this,’ and he goes, ‘Your father’s in Vietnam, your mother’s alone, and I will kill her if you tell her.’ And I knew he was crazy because at no point did I ever think that it was because of me that this was happening. I knew the man was insane and that’s why I thought he might actually hurt my mother.”
After finding excuses to avoid music class, Estefan finally spoke up.
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“I couldn’t take it anymore. I told her about it and the police came and she said, ‘This is what’s happening.’ And they told my mother not to press charges because they said I was going to go through worse trauma having to get on a stand and testify,” she said. “And that’s the one thing that I feel bad about, knowing that there must have been other victims.”
“I wanted to deal with this subject matter because it is so important to try to prevent,” Estefan concluded. “I knew one day I would share this story. I was waiting for the right opportunity and space to do so. And this is one of the reasons I said yes to the table at all. Because we wanted to create this space where we talk about important things and hopefully it will make a difference to everybody that’s watching out there.”