Gloria Estefan reveals she was molested at music school when she was nine-years-old: He was family – Daily Mail

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Gloria Estefan, 64, has revealed that she was sexually abused by someone in her ‘family’ when she was just nine years old.

The Cuban-American superstar publicly spoke for the first time about the abuse and the devastating impact it had on her during an episode of the Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk: The Estefans, which aired on Thursday. 

Estefan, who did not name the family member in question, revealed that the abuse began while she was attending a music school run by her attacker – who won her mother’s confidence by heaping praise on Estefan’s talents. 

She then recalled how she tried to stop his assaults, telling him: ‘This cannot happen, you cannot do this’ – only for him to threaten that he would ‘kill her mother’ if she told anyone about the abuse.

‘He was family, but not close family,’ she said. ‘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 continued: ‘I told him, “This cannot happen, you cannot do this.” He goes: “Your father’s in Vietnam, your mother’s alone and I will kill her if you tell her.” 

‘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.’

Painful: Gloria Estefan has revealed that she was molested by a family member when she was just nine years old after she began studying at the unnamed man's music school

Painful: Gloria Estefan has revealed that she was molested by a family member when she was just nine years old after she began studying at the unnamed man's music school

Painful: Gloria Estefan has revealed that she was molested by a family member when she was just nine years old after she began studying at the unnamed man’s music school  

Devastating: Estefan (seen at age nine), 64, opened up about the abuse during Thursday's episode of the Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk: The Estefans

Devastating: Estefan (seen at age nine), 64, opened up about the abuse during Thursday's episode of the Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk: The Estefans

Devastating: Estefan (seen at age nine), 64, opened up about the abuse during Thursday’s episode of the Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk: The Estefans

Estefan, who was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with her family when she was a toddler, first revealed the abuse at the top of the show, which also featured Claire Crowley, the first-ever Latina Bachelorette, who also opened up about her own devastating experiences with childhood sexual assault. 

On the episode, called Betrayed by Trusted Adults, Crowley recalled the sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of a priest as a child. 

Sitting at the round red table with her co-hosts — daughter Emily Estefan, 26, and niece Lili, 54 — Estefan opened by informing viewers that ’93 per cent of abused children know and trust their abusers, and I know this, because I was one of them.’ 

‘You’ve waited for this moment a long time,’ her niece said before Estefan agreed: ‘I have.’

She then shared her story of abuse, recalling: ‘It starts little by little and then it goes fast.’

Estefan, who was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with her family when she was a toddler, revealed the abuse at the top of the show, which featured Claire Crowley, the first Latina Bachelorette

Estefan, who was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with her family when she was a toddler, revealed the abuse at the top of the show, which featured Claire Crowley, the first Latina Bachelorette

Estefan, who was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with her family when she was a toddler, revealed the abuse at the top of the show, which featured Claire Crowley, the first Latina Bachelorette

'He was family, but not close family,' she said. '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 was family, but not close family,' she said. '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 was family, but not close family,’ she said. ‘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’

Difficult: Recordings in Spanish from when Estefan was nine were played during the show with English subtitles, with Gloria saying: 'I'm taking guitar lessons. I like them but the exercises are a little hard'

Difficult: Recordings in Spanish from when Estefan was nine were played during the show with English subtitles, with Gloria saying: 'I'm taking guitar lessons. I like them but the exercises are a little hard'

Difficult: Recordings in Spanish from when Estefan was nine were played during the show with English subtitles, with Gloria saying: ‘I’m taking guitar lessons. I like them but the exercises are a little hard’

Estefan said she started making up excuses to avoid going to music lessons. Her daughter Emily asked if her grandmother had any inkling something was going on, but Gloria reminded her that people didn’t talk about those things back then.

She tried to reach her dad, with whom she exchanged voice tapes while he was posted in Vietnam.

Recordings in Spanish from when Estefan was nine were played during the show with English subtitles, with Gloria saying: ‘I’m taking guitar lessons. I like them but the exercises are a little hard.’

Gloria recalled: 'I told him, "This cannot happen, you cannot do this." He goes: "Your father's in Vietnam, your mother's alone and I will kill her if you tell her"

Gloria recalled: 'I told him, "This cannot happen, you cannot do this." He goes: "Your father's in Vietnam, your mother's alone and I will kill her if you tell her"

Gloria recalled: ‘I told him, “This cannot happen, you cannot do this.” He goes: “Your father’s in Vietnam, your mother’s alone and I will kill her if you tell her” 

Awful: Estefan said she started making up excuses to avoid going to music lessons. Her daughter Emily asked if her grandmother had any inkling something was going on, but Gloria reminded her that people didn't talk about those things back then

Awful: Estefan said she started making up excuses to avoid going to music lessons. Her daughter Emily asked if her grandmother had any inkling something was going on, but Gloria reminded her that people didn't talk about those things back then

Awful: Estefan said she started making up excuses to avoid going to music lessons. Her daughter Emily asked if her grandmother had any inkling something was going on, but Gloria reminded her that people didn’t talk about those things back then

Family first: Gloria's daughter, Emily, listened to her mother's story of abuse as she joined the discussion on Red Table Talk

Family first: Gloria's daughter, Emily, listened to her mother's story of abuse as she joined the discussion on Red Table Talk

Family first: Gloria’s daughter, Emily, listened to her mother’s story of abuse as she joined the discussion on Red Table Talk

Her dad said: ‘Mommy told me that the owner of the academy where you’re taking your guitar lessons is very proud of you.’

Gloria: ‘I like the notes, but it’s a little boring to study the notes.’

Her dad: ‘Mommy tells me that he said that you are a born artist.’

Estefan said the level of anxiety made her lose a ‘circle of hair.’

‘I couldn’t take it anymore,’ she said, so one night she ran to her mother’s bedroom at 3 a.m. and told her what was going on.

Her mother called the police, but the officers advised her not to press charges because the trauma of testifying would be too harmful.

Both Crowley and Estefan said during the show that they didn’t like to be called victims. Crowley called herself a survivor.

Support: Sitting at the round red table with her co-hosts — daughter Emily Estefan, 26, and niece Lili, 54 — Estefan opened by saying that '93% of abused children know and trust their abusers, and I know this, because I was one of them'

Support: Sitting at the round red table with her co-hosts — daughter Emily Estefan, 26, and niece Lili, 54 — Estefan opened by saying that '93% of abused children know and trust their abusers, and I know this, because I was one of them'

Support: Sitting at the round red table with her co-hosts — daughter Emily Estefan, 26, and niece Lili, 54 — Estefan opened by saying that ‘93% of abused children know and trust their abusers, and I know this, because I was one of them’

Painful: Estefan said she didn't tell the producers she was going to reveal her story on Thursday's episode. No one knew about the abuse except for her family, said the singer, who has been married to music producer Emilio Estefan for over four decades

Painful: Estefan said she didn't tell the producers she was going to reveal her story on Thursday's episode. No one knew about the abuse except for her family, said the singer, who has been married to music producer Emilio Estefan for over four decades

Painful: Estefan said she didn’t tell the producers she was going to reveal her story on Thursday’s episode. No one knew about the abuse except for her family, said the singer, who has been married to music producer Emilio Estefan for over four decades

Talk about it: Clare Crawley also revealed the abuse she endured at the hands of a priest in Catholic school

Talk about it: Clare Crawley also revealed the abuse she endured at the hands of a priest in Catholic school

Talk about it: Clare Crawley also revealed the abuse she endured at the hands of a priest in Catholic school

Estefan said she didn’t tell the producers she was going to reveal her story on Thursday’s episode. No one knew about the abuse except for her family, said the singer, who has been married to music producer Emilio Estefan for over four decades.

She also said that, when her mother started inquiring about this man within the family, an aunt shared that he had abused her years back in Cuba.

The Associated Press asked the show’s publicist if Estefan could answer some questions, including if the man was still alive. The publicist told the AP that she would not make further comments.

On Red Table Talk, Estefan recalled almost going public in the mid-80s, when her hit Conga with the Miami Sound Machine was at the top of the Billboard charts and ‘this predator, who was a respected member of the community,’ had the audacity to write a letter to a paper criticizing her music.

‘At that moment, I was so angry that I was about to blow the lid off of everything,’ she said. ‘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,’ she added, also admitting the fear that there could be other victims makes her feel bad.

After introducing Crowley and telling her that she didn’t want to sit quietly while she shared her story, Estefan said she had been waiting for the right opportunity and space to tell hers.

‘This is one of the reasons why I said yes to the (Red) Table (Talk) at all, because we wanted to create this space where we talk about important things that hopefully will make a difference to everybody that’s watching out there,’ she said.

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