Menudo ‘Perpetually Younger’ doc particulars boy band’s abuse claims

Sooner than Ricky Martin was “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” members of his former boy-band Menudo — one in every of many biggest Latin groups of all time — have been residing a nightmare.

In a model new documentary, Angelo Garcia — who joined Menudo after he had merely turned 11 — acknowledged he was raped all through his 1988-90 stint with the quintet. He particulars the sexual assault — which he acknowledged occurred in his resort room after he was given alcohol by an undisclosed man — in “Menudo: Perpetually Younger,” a four-part docuseries that premieres on HBO Max Thursday.  

“All I keep in mind was that I, like, handed out. After I wakened, I was naked and I was bleeding, so I knew that I had been penetrated,” Garcia acknowledged throughout the documentary. “I had, like, these burn marks on my face from the rug … I was very confused and I didn’t understand.”

That wasn’t the one time Garcia acknowledged he was molested all through his tenure with the group. “All through my time in Menudo, I was raped a sequence of cases, and that was one of the best ways that predators would reap the advantages of me,” he acknowledged throughout the documentary.

Menudo on the twenty sixth annual Grammy Awards in 1984.
Ron Galella Assortment by means of Getty
The boy band Menudo In San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1980s. Inset, Angelo Garcia.
Menudo in San Juan, Puerto Rico throughout the Nineteen Eighties. Inset, Angelo Garcia.

Totally different members of Menudo — which featured 32 completely totally different boys all through its preliminary, 20-year run — moreover claimed they endured sexual abuse, along with bullying, drug scandals and oppressive working circumstances in “Ceaselessly Youthful.” Such negligence and exploitation, they acknowledged, occurred whereas they labored for the boy band’s mastermind, Edgardo Díaz, who’s described as “their supervisor, producer and father surrogate.” (Díaz, who didn’t reply to requests for an interview or contact upon the allegations throughout the documentary, has always denied any abuse and any wrongdoing in his administration of the group.)

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“We have now been pawns of his enterprise,” acknowledged Ray Acevedo, who was in Menudo from 1985 to 1988.

“Ceaselessly Youthful” recounts how Díaz’s brainchild, Menudo, was born in Puerto Rico in 1977. Díaz adopted a “Fountain of Youth approach” for the group, the place members would get changed as quickly as they turned 16. Mom and father of the boys — numerous them poor — would sign over numerous their parental authority to the supervisor.

After first exploding in Venezuela and occurring to set off “Spanish Beatlemania” throughout the US, Menudo found its most well-known member, Martin, in 1984. “Ricky, from the beginning, was similar to the golden youngster,” says Acevedo.

Nonetheless Martin — who simply isn’t interviewed throughout the documentary — didn’t make life very easy for various members, in response to Sergio Blass, who was in Menudo from 1986 to 1990.

“To be with Ricky was brutal because of he had seniority over me,” Blass acknowledged. “So if anyone knocked on the door, I wanted to open it. If the phone rang, I wanted to decide on it up. I was like his housewife.” (Representatives for Martin didn’t reply to The Submit’s request for comment.)

Actually, there was a great deal of bullying in Menudo — Acevedo even recalled being held over a balcony by one different member — and hazing of latest guys. With out getting appropriate supervision and even security, the boys have been moreover uncovered to treatment, along with marijuana and cocaine.

“One time we now have been in Colombia,” recalled Blass throughout the documentary. “I’m with [fellow Menudo member] Rubén [Gómez], and we’re attending to the resort. We enter our room. Impulsively, this random man is out there in … And he pulls out what ought to have been just a few kilo of cocaine … So we freaked out, because of we didn’t know this particular person … Nonetheless the person was actually one in every of many producers and promoters.”

Blass and Gómez obtained kicked out of Menudo after they’ve been busted for marijuana possession in 1990. Nonetheless new members saved coming by means of the revolving door.

Andy Blázquez, who was throughout the group from 1991 to 1997, recalled throughout the documentary feeling uncomfortable with the “extreme sexualization that occurred from the very beginning — like overly sexualized jokes that you just shouldn’t say in entrance of children. I keep in mind Edgardo saying, ‘You understand the pleasure that you just get when you’re pooping? That’s what anal intercourse seems like.’ ”

Menudo in Puerto Rico in 1987.
Menudo, with its most well-known member Ricky Martin (left), in Puerto Rico in 1987.
New York Submit

Totally different members have beforehand accused Díaz of sexual abuse, along with Roy Rosselló in a television look that’s confirmed throughout the documentary. It’s moreover alleged throughout the documentary that Díaz was surrounded by unsavory males who would prey on the boys.

Nonetheless the Menudo heartthrobs have been moreover pounced on by an numerous parade of youthful groupies. 

“They wanted to be escorted out of my room because of there was one different one prepared, and the first one didn’t have to depart,” acknowledged Blass. “As an adolescent, I believed, ‘Wow, that’s so cool.’ ”