NEW YORK (AP) — Gloria Estefan has revealed that, at the age of 9, she was sexually abused by someone her mother trusted.
The Cuban-American superstar spoke for the first time publicly about the abuse and its effects on her during an episode of the Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk: The Estefans" on Thursday.
She said, at one point, she confronted her abuser.
“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,'” Estafan said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Estefan spoke about the pain she experienced and how after telling her mother about the abuse, she said police discouraged her from pressing charges.
"They told my mother not to press charges because they said I was going to go through worse trauma having to get on a stand,” Estefan said.
Years later, Estafan said her abuser publicly criticized her hit song, "Conga." At that point, she said she was ready to "blow the lid off everything" but she decided against it because she didn't want him to get any recognition.
She criticized him for "the manipulation and control" while acknowledging that's what predators are known to do.