Ricky Martin wasn't always as willing to be open about his private life - and the singer, 49, says he was traumatised when he was encouraged to come out during a television interview with Barbara Walters on The View in 2000.
In a new interview for the annual Pride issue of People, Ricky Martin said: 'When she dropped the question, I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out. I was very afraid. There’s a little PTSD with that.'
The Livin' La Vida Loca singer sat down with Barbara Walter, now 91, at the height of his fame to chat about his life and career. But he was stunned when the legendary interviewer quizzed him on his sexuality.
Barbara asked: 'The rumours that talk about your sexual orientation, you must be aware of these?’ 'Do they hurt? How do you handle them?’ she pressed. Ricky was from Puerto Rico, so it was very difficult for him to talk about it, because the idea wasn’t accepted at all there.
Ricky, who is 1.82 m tall, explained: ‘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.’
Barbara responded: ‘Well, you know you could stop these rumours. You could say, as many artists have, “yes I am gay” or you could say “no I’m not” or you could leave it, as you are, ambiguous.
'I don’t want to put you on the spot and it’s in your power to do it and I’m bringing it up with you Ricky because you know that this is being said and you’re even being named.’ Ricky affirmed: 'Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to express the rumours but, for some reason, I just don't feel like it.'
Latin star Ricky Martin says he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being put on the spot in such a public forum as he was not ready to discuss his sexuality so openly.
However, he now believes it would have been a good time to come out as gay, adding to People: 'A lot of people say, what would you do differently? Well, maybe I would have come out in that interview. It would’ve been great because when I came out, it just felt amazing.'
Ricky is now married to artist Jwan Yosef, 37, and the couple share four children together -twins Valentino and Matteo, 12, and Lucia and Renn, both two. Everyone wonders who their biological mother is.
But it remains a mystery to everyone, because he hasn’t made it official, but everything points to the fact that the mother of Ricky Martin's children, is the Venezuelan model Eglantina Zingg, a great friend of the 49-year-old Puerto Rican artist.
In a later episode of The View, Barbara admitted she'd made a mistake by pushing Ricky to talk out on the matter. She said: 'Was that a mistake? Looking back now, it feels like one. 'Unless someone is openly gay and happy to talk about it, it's nobody's business - including mine.' He came out 10 years ago in a statement on his website.