Transcript for Erik and Lyle Menendez testify about sex abuse in graphic detail: Part 8
Television removes you from the intimacy of pain. To my dismay, the Menendez brothers' trial became a gag on "Saturday night live." Would you please state your names for the record? Lyle Menendez. Erik Menendez. It became a game show because it was on television. And can you tell the court who did murder your parents? Our other two brothers, Danny Menendez and Jose Menendez Jr. And they became cartoons in the public mind, right, with sweaters and the tears and all that stuff. It was easy for people to dismiss what they were claiming as an act. The first thing they did is they always dressed in pastels. And they always wore the little crewneck Ralph Lauren sweaters and the little polo shirts underneath to make them look like little Easter egg candies. They were referred to all the time as the boys. Not the brothers, not the adults. The boys. The boys. The boys. The boys. And it got to the point where I was saying "The boys" because it's a shorthand for the dirtbags over there who killed their parents." For 12 years, between the ages of 6 and 18, my client, Erik Menendez, was sexually molested by his father. The sex abuse defense -- the "Abuse excuse" -- was new in -- in the law. And so people were very, very skeptical of it. Sex abuse takes place in private. How can you prove it? Who witnesses it? The greatest omission that occurred for the Menendez brothers, in terms of whether this happened or not, was their failure to tell this to their own psychotherapist. When Erik Menendez was 10 years old, he told his cousin Andy Cano that he had been sexually molested by his father. Well, he told me his father was massaging his . He used that word? Yes, he did. He wanted to know that -- if this happened to every kid. I do remember very specifically was him asking me to make a promise to him never to reveal that to anybody. It's hard to explain that away, and then when their own testimony came in it was, it was very, very powerful. And between the ages of 6 and 8, did your father have sexual contact with you? Yes. And how did it start? We would have these talks, and he would fondle me and he would ask me to do the same with him, and I would touch him, and we would undress. When Lyle appeared, it was a turning point because now you were hearing a whole different side of the story and details that no one had ever really heard before. We would be in the bathroom and -- it would -- he would put me on my knees and he would guide me, all my movements and I would have oral sex with him. The days that Lyle and Erik Menendez testified to their claims of sexual abuse are among the most unforgettable days I've ever had as a journalist. What else did he do to you? He used objects. What kind of objects? A toothbrush, and some sort of shaving utensil brush. And did he try to anally penetrate you with something else? He did. And what was it? He'd rape me. There was a level of There was a level of detail that people remember from real life that you almost wouldn't kind of make up. Did you tell your brother? No. Did you do something to your brother? Yes. What did you do to your brother? I took him out to the woods, whenever I felt -- I don't know. I took him out sometimes and I took a toothbrush also and I played with Erik in the same way. And I'm sorry. And he says it with such shame. But what is even more convincing -- and I was sitting about ten feet from Erik -- is I saw this vein start popping out of his forehead as he hears his brother apologizing, as their own secret horrible sordidness comes out into public on television. Were you scared? Very. Did you ask him not to? Yes. How did you ask him not to? I just told him, I don't -- I'm sorry. I just told him that I didn't want to do this and that it hurt me. And he said that he didn't mean to hurt me and he loved me. People in the audience were press members were crying, were dabbing at their eyes. They hear everything, but they were crying. Frankly, I think their bad acting when they're trying to convince everybody that they were actually in fear for their lives when they killed their parents, shows that they weren't pretending when they were casting themselves back to their experience as -- as little boys and being raped. Did you have some hope over that summer of 1989 for some improvement in your life? Yes. And what did you expect? I was gonna go to college. How significant a notion was this? It was the most important thing in my life. It was everything in my life. It was all I thought about. Why was it all you thought about? Why was it all I thought about? Yeah. Because it would end the sex, and that's all I thought about. How did you feel at 18 about the fact that your father was having sex with you? I hated it. I hated it. I hated it. You slept in bed with your mom a lot, didn't you? Even when you were little? Yes. And did you continue to sleep in her bed around this time when you're 11 and 12? Sometimes. And sometimes did you touch your mom? Yes. And where would you touch her? Everywhere. The idea that Erik and Lyle were abused by my sister kitty is absolute insanity.
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