Gloria Estefan Reveals Childhood Sexual Assault
Singer Gloria Estefan has spoken up about being sexually assaulted by a friend of her mother when she was only nine years old.
“He was family, but not close family,” the 64-year-old said during a new episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans. “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 said her abuser threatened to kill her mother, also named Gloria, if she told her about what he was doing “and I knew it 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.”
The “Coming Out of the Dark” singer recalled coming up with excuses to avoid attending music lessons. Early one morning, she ran into her mother’s room and told her everything.
Estefan’s mother called police, who encouraged her not to file charges because it would be traumatic for her daughter.
Estefan did not identify her abuser nor say if he was still alive.
She did say that when she struck it big with Miami Sound Machine, the man who assaulted her wrote a letter to a local newspaper criticizing her music.
“At that moment, I was so angry that I was about to blow the lid off of everything,” Estefan recalled, “and then I thought: ‘My whole success is gonna turn into him!’
“It’s manipulation and control, but that’s what they do, they take your power.”
Estefan, whose parents escaped Cuba and settled in Miami in 1959, has been married to music producer Emilio Estefan since 1978. The couple has son Nayib, 41, and daughter Emily, 26.
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