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Ricky Martin says he 'felt violated' during his 2000 interview with Barbara Walters when she repeatedly questioned him about his sexuality

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Insider
Insider
 2021-06-02
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Ricky Martin.
  • Ricky Martin told People magazine he had "a little PTSD" from a 2000 interview with Barbara Walters.
  • In the interview, the famed journalist repeatedly asked Martin about rumors he was gay.
  • "I was just not ready to come out," Martin told People in a new cover story. "I was very afraid."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories .

Ricky Martin recently said he had "PTSD" after his 2000 interview with Barbara Walters in which she repeatedly pressed the singer about his sexuality.

At the time Martin was at the height of his fame following the success of his song "Livin' La Vida Loca," but there were also rampant rumors that Martin was gay.

"A lot of people say, what would you do differently?" he said in People magazine's latest cover story . "Well, maybe I would have come out in that interview."

"It would've been great because when I came out [in 2010], 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," Martin added. "Because if you hide it, it's a life-or-death situation."

In the 2000 interview , Walters asked Martin more than once to address the rumors.

"Do they hurt? How do you handle them?" Walters asked Martin, referring to the rumors.

"Sexuality and homosexuality should not be a problem for anybody," Martin answered. "I think that sexuality is something that each individually should deal with in their own way. And that's all I have to say about that."

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Martin being interviewed by Barbara Walters.
Walters, however, did not leave it alone.

"You could stop these rumors," said Walters, who regularly pressed interviewees in televised interviews. "You could say, 'Yes, I am gay or no I'm not.'"

Martin thanked Walters for being able to address the rumors and simply answered: "I just don't feel like it."

Ricky Martin also said he was afraid to come out during the interview because he was confused and dating 'lots of women'

In the new cover story for People , more than 20 years after that interview, Martin also shared how he felt in that moment.

"When she dropped the question, I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out. I was very afraid," Martin said. "There's a little PTSD with that."

Martin told People that he was very confused about his sexuality and was dating "lots of women," but also men, at the time of his sit-down with Walters.

"Sexuality is one complicated thing," he continued. "It's not black and white. It's filled with colors. 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."

Though all of his relationships with women weren't public, Martin did have a romance with the TV host Rebecca de Alba from 1995 to 2002, according to People.

Martin said he kept his sexuality a secret for so long because of the lack of LGBTQ support growing up.

"There are many, many kids out there that don't have someone to look up to," he said. "All they have around them is people telling them, 'What you're feeling is evil.' But 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."

Martin, who officially came out a decade after the Walters interview, has been married to the artist Jwan Yosef since 2017. The couple have four children.

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