Gloria Estefan was sexually abused when she was just nine years old.
The 64-year-old singer has opened up about her ordeal at the hands of a family member and how she was scared to speak up because she feared the ‘insane’ man would kill her mother.
Speaking on the latest episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, the Conga singer said: ‘Ninety-three percent of abused children know and trust their abusers. And I know this because I was one of them…
‘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.
‘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.’
When Gloria fought back, the man threatened the young girl, saying he would harm her mother if she told.
She explained: ‘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 running out of reasons to avoid her music class, Gloria eventually told her mother, but when she got in touch with police, they advised her not to take things further.
The Grammy Award winner said: ‘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.
‘And that’s the one thing that I feel bad about, knowing that there must have been other victims.’
The Rhythm is Gonna Get You hitmaker has been taking part in the spin-off of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk for almost a year and admitted one of the reasons she signed up was so she could eventually share her story.
The mum-of-two said: ‘I wanted to deal with this subject matter because it is so important to try to prevent. 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.’
Gloria was born in Cuba, with her family fleeing to Miami two years after she was born as a result of the Cuban Revolution.
She began her music career by fronting the Miami Sound Machine, established by her future husband Emilio Estefan in 1975, and went on to become one of the most successful Latin artists of all time.
Her biggest hits include Conga, 1-2-3 and Don’t Wanna Lose You, and has sold over 75 million records worldwide.
Victim Support offers support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. You can contact them on 0333 300 6389.
Credit: Original article published here.