Ricky Martin has opened up about feeling “violated” by journalist Barbara Walters while being interviewed in 2000 and says he still has PTSD from her line of questioning as she pressed him on his sexuality.
Speaking to People magazine for their annual Pride issue, Ricky Martin recounted how at the time, people were questioning his sexuality.
“Sexuality is a complicated thing,” he said. “It’s not black and white. It’s filled with colours. When I was dating women, I was in love with women. It felt right, it felt beautiful. You can’t fake chemistry – the chemistry was there with them. I wasn’t misleading anyone.”
Barbara Walters, who founded daytime talkshow The View, reportedly pressured him to come out during the interview.
“You could stop these rumours,” she said in the interview. “You could say, ‘Yes I am gay or no I’m not.’” Ricky Martin responded, “I just don’t feel like it.”
Talking to People, he said: “When she dropped the question, I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out. I was very afraid. There’s a little PTSD with that.”
Ricky Martin went on to say that he could’ve come out in that interview, but he simply did not want to which is fucking fair.
“Well, maybe I would have come out in that interview,” he said. “It would have been great because when I came out, it just felt amazing. When it comes to my sexuality, when it comes to who I am, I want to talk about what I’m made of, about everything that I am. Because if you hide it, it’s a life-or-death situation.”
He didn’t speak publicly about his sexuality until 10 years later.
Barbara Walters previously expressed her regret over the interview back in 2010.
“I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was,” she told the Toronto Star. “A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question.”
Ricky Martin is now married to Jwan Yosef and has four children. He says he hopes he can be someone LGBTQ kids “look up to.”
“You can’t force someone to come out,” he said. “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.”
Watch the interview below via Entertainment Tonight Canada: