Singer Gloria Estefan (Havana, 1957) revealed this Thursday that her music teacher, who was also a relative, abused her when she was nine years old. The successful Cuban-American artist recounted how the abuser threatened to kill her mother if she told him while her father was on duty in the Vietnam War in the new season of the talk show Red Table Talk: The Estefans, which airs on Facebook Watch, in an episode titled Betrayed by trusted adults.
“93% of abused children know and trust their abusers. And I know, because I was one of them, “said the woman who forged a musical and business empire from Miami in the opening chapter of the program where she shares the stage with her daughter, Emily Estefan, and her niece, Lili Estefan. “He was family, but not close family,” said the award-winning Latin singer. “I was in a position of power,” he continued, “because my mother had enrolled me in his music school and he immediately started telling her how talented I was and that I needed special attention, and she felt lucky that he was focusing that kind of attention in me ”, explained the artist, married for more than 40 years with the music producer Emilio Estefan.
The singer narrated that the abuses had started little by little, but that they had suddenly progressed very fast. “I said, ‘This can’t happen, you can’t do this.’ He said, ‘Your father is in Vietnam, your mother is alone and I will kill her if you tell her.’ Estefan made it clear that at no time had he felt that it was his fault what was happening to him, but that it was a man who was “crazy” and for that very reason he thought that he could really hurt his mother. The anxiety to which she was subjected caused so much hair to fall out that there was an open circle on her head.
One night, around three in the morning, he decided to talk to his mother. “I couldn’t take it anymore,” he said on the show. Upon learning, her mother called the police, but officers advised her not to press charges. They argued that the trauma for Gloria of having to step onto the bench in court was going to be worse. So they did not report. “And I still feel horrible about it, imagining that there could have been more victims,” the three-time Grammy winner said Thursday. Later, she would learn that the predator had also abused her aunt while they were still in Cuba.
In the mid-80s, when Gloria Estefan, with the group Miami Sound Machine, was playing the top of the music industry with her success Conga, “This predator, who was a respected member of the community,” wrote a letter to a newspaper criticizing his music. The artist was so angry that she thought to break her silence. “Then I thought, ‘All my success will become a theme about him!” Until now, no one knew except his family. “I wanted to face and touch on this issue because by talking about it we can help prevent.”
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