21 years ago, Martin was “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and the symbol of sex appeal. He had the world at his fingertips, yet was not fully able to live his true identity.
This came at a cost for Martin as he recently revealed how Walters “violated” him during their 2000 sit-down interview.
At the time of the interview rumors ran rampant that Martin might be gay; however, the singer neither denied nor confirmed the rumors.
Walters who is known for her ‘no holds barred’ interviews got right to the point with Martin.
In the interview she asked, “And with you there have been the rumors that question or talk about your sexual orientation, you must be aware of these rumors,” to which Martin responded, “Of course.”
She then attempted to try and be kind by asking, “Do they hurt? How do you handle them?”
An uncomfortable, yet confident Martin replied, “The word says it. ‘Intimacy,’ sexuality and homosexuality should not be a problem for anybody. I think that sexuality is something that each individual should deal with in their own way and that’s all I have to say about that.”
Walters continues to pry asking, “Well you can stop those rumors. You could say as many others have, ‘Yes I am gay,’ or you could say, ‘No I’m not,’ or you could leave it as you are ambiguous.”
To follow it up Walters adds, “I don’t want to put you on the spot, but…” as Martin interjected to attempt to end the interview with, “Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to express the rumors, whatever for some reason, I don’t feel like it.”
After this uncomfortable exchange and years later, Martin spoke to People to unveil his true feelings.
While speaking about the interview he disclosed, “I felt a bit of PTSD with that situation, because I felt trapped, I even felt a bit violated.”
He continued, “Because I was just not ready to come out. I don’t think nowadays that that question can even be asked.”
While reflecting on the moment Martin said, “maybe I would have come out in that interview.”
Speaking on his coming out, Martin expressed excitement because it was amazing and, in his words, “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. You can’t force someone to come out. 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.”
10 years after the initial interview in 2000 Walters expressed regret for pressing Martin the way she did.
In an interview with The Toronto Star she said, “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. A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question.”
Martin expressed that there is not enough mentorship for LGBTQ children expressing that there isn’t someone they can look up to, and most people tell them what they’re feeling is ‘evil.’
“You can’t force someone to come out. But 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,” said Martin.