Ricky Martin's coming clean and coming out of the closet.
After years of scrutiny about his sexuality, the Latino pop star declared on his official Web site today that he is "a fortunate homosexual man." Martin explained that he decided to make the announcement after musing about his memoirs and his year-and-a-half-old twin sons, whom he fathered through a surrogate mother in 2008.
"This is just what I need, especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day," Martin wrote. "These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed."
Martin's publicist, John Reilly, confirmed that the statement is authentic.
Martin's declaration comes just weeks after Barbara Walters admitted she was wrong to question the singer aggressively about his sexuality during an interview 10 years ago.
"In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was," Walters told the Toronto Star earlier this month. "A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question."
Martin, known for hip-shaking Latin pop hits like 1999's "Livin' La Vida Loca," was widely speculated to be gay during the height of his fame. In her 2000 interview, Walters told Martin, "You know, you could stop these rumors. 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, but it's in your power to do it."
Martin declined to give Walters a direct answer and avoided discussion about his sexuality until now. Below, read the full text of Martin's statement, which was posted on his Web site in English and Spanish.
A few months ago I decided to write my memoirs, a project I knew was going to bring me closer to an amazing turning point in my life. From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside. Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And thisis something worth celebrating.
For many years, there has been only one place where I am in touch with my emotions fearlessly and that's the stage. Being on stage fills my soul in many ways, almost completely. It's my vice. The music, the lights and the roar of the audience are elements that make me feel capable of anything. This rush of adrenaline is incredibly addictive. I don't ever want to stop feeling these emotions. But it is serenity that brings me to where I'm at right now. An amazing emotional place of comprehension, reflection and enlightenment. At this moment I'm feeling the same freedom I usually feel only on stage, without a doubt, I need to share.