This week’s episode of the Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk” got very real once again. The whole show was pretty much set up to feature this climactic moment. In which, Grammy winner Gloria Estefan would publicly admit that she was sexually abused as a child. Show co-host Lili Estefan set up the moment by telling Gloria,
“Tia, you’ve waited for this moment for a long time”.
Just like that things got real! With the now 64-year-old Estefan opening up about her experience.
Talking About Her Abuser
Estefan did not directly reveal the name of her abuser. However, she did mention that he was a family member. According to Gloria, he wasn’t a close family member. The problem was that he allegedly took advantage of her family situation at the time to get closer to Gloria. Her father was away in Vietnam and Gloria and her mother was alone at home. Gloria’s mom had signed her up to attend a music school that was run by this estranged family member.
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The Process of Abuse
Gloria vividly recalls that her abuse was not a one off situation. Instead, this relative essentially “groomed” her for the abuse potentially for months or more. She mentioned that he would praise her talent to her mother and tell her that Gloria needed one on one singing coaching. This allowed Gloria’s abuser to get closer to her. She remembered that “grooming” process saying,
“He immediately started telling her how talented I was and that I needed special attention, and then she felt lucky that he was focusing this kind of attention on me,”
Apparently, this person wasn’t able to get the 9-year-old Gloria to willingly fall for his charms. This is the point where Estefan recalls that he outright threatened her to essentially get what he wanted out of her. The man mentioned that he would kill Gloria’s mother if she did not meet his sexual demands. Gloria courageously told this story by saying,
“I knew that this was a very dangerous situation, and when I revolted and I told him, ‘This cannot happen, you cannot do this, he goes, ‘Your father is in Vietnam, your mother’s alone and I will kill her if you tell her,’”
Sexual Assault In Those Times
Sexual assault is certainly not something that’s gotten better over time. However, in those days there were potentially no positive legal avenues to confront sexual abusers. Gloria goes on to say that she started naturally showing massive signs of stress and anxiety due to the continued abuse. Her hair literally started falling out. Until one day she finally couldn’t take it and came clean to her mother about what was happening. Her mother called the police, and according to Estefan it was the police who suggested that the family not press charges on the abuser because more trauma could come Gloria’s way! Just an intense story from start to finish from the queen of conga.