Gloria Estefan has said that she was sexually abused as a child by a family member, aged just nine-years-old.
The Cuban-American musician, 64, alleges it happened when she was nine-years-old and attending a music school run by a family member whom her mother trusted.
In an episode of the Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk: The Estefans, the three-time Grammy award-winning musician said: “He was family, but not close family.”
She continued: “He was in a position of power because my mother had put me in his music school and he immediately started telling her how talented I was and how I needed special attention, and she felt lucky that he was focusing this kind of attention on me.”
Gloria Estefan performs live – Credit: Getty
Estefan recounted how the abuse started “little by little and then it goes fast”, adding that she had been unable to escape from a “dangerous” situation.
She continued: “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.’ I knew the man was insane and that’s why I thought he might actually hurt my mother.”
Estefan eventually told her mother about the abuse after she started losing her hair as a result of the anxiety and trauma of the experience.
While her mother informed the police, she was advised not to press charges because her daughter would “go through worse trauma having to get on a stand and testify.”
Estefan went on to say: “93 per cent of abused children know and trust their abusers. And I know this because I was one of them.”
For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.
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