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‘Menudo: Forever Young’ documentary alleges rampant rape, physical abuse within the boy band

‘Menudo: Forever Young’ documentary alleges rampant rape, physical abuse within the boy band


Menudo may have been another random boy band filled with cheeky personalities, middling dance strikes and coordinated spandex.

However music promoter/supervisor Edgardo Díaz ingeniously realized that the issue with boy bands is that the boys ultimately develop into males. So Díaz established the rule that when a member reached his sixteenth birthday, he was booted for a younger substitute.

The forged of Menudo – which suggests, amongst different issues, “small” or “unfastened change” – has encompassed dozens of performers since its 1977 inception as Díaz employed a turnstile of boys.

Its most well-known export? Ricky Martin.

However as “Menudo: Endlessly Younger,” the four-part HBO Max docuseries that started streaming Thursday, unveils in searing interviews with 13 former members – not together with Martin – life within the Puerto Rican-bred group, which disbanded in 2009, was hardly a joyfest.

Allegations embrace bodily, sexual and psychological abuse by Díaz; grueling schedules and a scarcity of parental oversight (Díaz required the boys’ dad and mom signal over most authorized rights earlier than they might develop into members); and a few typical showbiz deceit (the multitalented Robby Rosa was handed off as 13 regardless that he was not less than 15 as a result of Díaz needed a bilingual member to assist crack the U.S. market). 

Diaz, it’s famous on the finish of the third episode, didn’t reply to request for interviews or feedback concerning the allegations and has denied all abuse and mismanagement claims.

USA TODAY was unable to seek out contact info for Diaz. 

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Early Menudo recruits Ricky Meléndez (1977 to 1984), a cousin of Díaz’s, and the still-charismatic Johnny Lozada (1980 to 1984) present essential historic tidbits concerning the evolution of the group, from the management over their hair and clothes to the explosion of Menudo merchandise.

However some later members share extra critical claims with administrators Ángel Manuel Soto and Kristofer Ríos.

Among the many revelations:

Menudo member Angelo Garcia alleges he was raped a number of occasions 

Within the third installment of the documentary, probably the most delicate one appropriately titled, “The Accusations,” Angelo Garcia says he was “raped a collection of occasions” throughout his 1988 to 1990 tenure in Menudo.

Garcia recounts being plied with alcohol by an unnamed man who was a part of the Menudo entourage and passing out. When he wakened, “I used to be bare and I used to be bleeding, so I knew that I had been penetrated,” he says. “I had, like, these burn marks on my face from the rug. … I used to be very confused and didn’t perceive.”

Garcia additionally tells a narrative about being groped in an elevator by different males in Menudo’s circle.

Members of the boy band allege the Menudo manufacturing workforce threatened to the touch their personal elements

Other than the allegations of sexual assault are recollections about inappropriate video games.

Andy Blázquez (1991 to 1997) and Jonathan Montenegro (1990 to 1991) each inform almost similar tales concerning the Menudo manufacturing workforce threatening to the touch the boys’ personal elements as a ceremony of passage into the group. Blázquez shares that as he was held down, braced for the encounter, the workforce members as a substitute started to sing a foolish tune.

“That was not humorous,” says Blázquez, including there was at all times an environment of “excessive sexualization” and feedback about anal intercourse.

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Members together with Montenegro and Rawy Torres (1989 to 1991) describe a depressing existence within the group with no joking, no laughing and no enjoyable allowed.

However extra troubling, Montenegro describes an incident when Díaz, sandwiched between two Menudo members within the again seat of a automobile, started to wrestle with them. Because the roughhousing intensified, one youth threw Díaz’s glasses onto the ground of the automobile. Díaz responded by repeatedly hitting the boy, who was upset however needed to shake off the incident to attend a information convention. Montenegro says he tried to supply assist to his unnamed group mate. “I may inform this had occurred earlier than,” he says.

Performing whereas severely in poor health was additionally anticipated, former members say. Garcia complained of sharp abdomen pains earlier than a present and was advised by Díaz, “What’s unsuitable with you is you don’t need to work.” After the efficiency, Garcia ran off stage and threw up blood; solely then was he taken to the hospital for a near-burst appendix.

Garcia and Ray Acevedo (1985 to 1988) had been additionally taken to the hospital whereas touring in Latin America after repeatedly telling Díaz they didn’t really feel properly; each had been hospitalized with critical lung infections.

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Ricky Martin was ‘the least proficient’ however the ‘golden child,’ members declare 

Acevedo overlapped with Martin throughout his total Menudo run and expresses shock that Mr. “Livin’ La Vida Loca” became a global superstar.

“From all the members who got here out (of Menudo), he was the least proficient, (however) probably the most handsome,” Acevedo says. “Ricky was the golden child.”

Certainly, footage exhibits that the then-diminutive Martin didn’t supply a lot singing, however was nonetheless given the highlight due to his adorability and fluency in English.

Fellow Menudo Sergio Blass (1986 to 1991), who was kicked out of the group following an arrest for marijuana possession at Miami Worldwide Airport, experiences that Martin relished that “golden child” tag.

As a result of Martin had seniority over Blass, he was handled like a rookie.

“To be with Ricky was brutal,” Blass says. “If somebody knocked on the door, I needed to open it. If the telephone rang, I needed to choose it up. I used to be like his housewife.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Martin for remark. 

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