Ricky Martin: I Felt 'Violated' by Barbara Walters Interview

She pressured him to 'stop the rumors' about his sexuality in 2000 interview
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2021 6:26 AM CDT
Ricky Martin: I Felt 'Violated' by Barbara Walters Interview
Ricky Martin arrives at the Latin American Music Awards at the BB&T Center on Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla.   (AP Photo/Taimy Alvarez)

Barbara Walters has described a 2000 interview in which she pushed Ricky Martin on his sexuality as the only interview she regrets—and Martin doesn't feel great about it, either. The singer, who came out in 2010, tells People that there's still a "little PTSD" from the interview on national TV, in which Walters urged him to "stop the rumors," telling him, "You could say, 'Yes I am gay or no I'm not." Martin, then 29 and at the height of his "Living La Vida Loca" fame, replied, "Barbara, for some reason, I just don't feel like it," reports USA Today. "When she dropped the question, I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out. I was very afraid," Martin tells People.

Martin, a father of four who has been married to artist Jwan Yosef since 2017, says that it "would've been great" if he had come out during the interview, "because when I came out, it just felt amazing." He says he lacked LGBTQ mentorship in his youth and he often thinks about the many young people now in the same situation. "You can't force someone to come out," he says. "But if you have an egg and you open it from the outside, only death comes out. But if the egg opens up from the inside, life comes out." In 2010, Walters told the Toronto Star that she felt bad about the way she pressured Martin. "A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question," she said. (More Ricky Martin stories.)

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