Mo'Nique's Brother: 'I'm Not a Monster'

Gerald Imes apologizes to 'Precious' star for abuse during childhood.

ByABC News
April 19, 2010, 10:47 AM

April 19, 2010— -- The brother of Oscar-winning actress Mo'Nique apologized to her today for years of sexual abuse during her childhood.

"I'm sorry, Mo'Nique. I'm sorry," Gerald Imes said today on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "I betrayed everybody's trust. I broke that trust. I broke that bond."

Thirty-seven years later, Imes admitted for the first time to the sexual abuse of his then-7-year-old sister while they were growing up in Baltimore. He was 13 years old.

"The hardest part to me was for even to admit to her that I did something wrong. I downplayed it by saying, 'If you think I did something wrong, then I'm sorry.'...I did it, I'm not proud of it," he said.

Imes said his own problems with drugs and alcohol spurred the sexual abuse. "I started using cocaine, heroine, alcohol at the age of 11. I used these drugs to hide my own pain, to hide my own fears... The drugs allowed me and afforded me the opportunity to hurt my sister," he said.

The abuse took place at night when he thought Mo'Nique was asleep, Imes said, and continued for a year or two.

"It happened more than I wanted it to," he said. "I became a perpetrator. I abused and betrayed the trust of my own sibling -- my own sister."

Imes said he was also a victim of molestation during his youth, which sent him on a downward spiral to abuse drugs and sexually molest Mo'Nique.

"I did my own molestation in pain, guilt and shame. I thought it was my fault that these things happen. I internalized that. I hid behind drugs and alcohol," he said. "I'm not a monster. I'm her older brother."

He said he never told his sister not to come forward, and never groomed her, or lured her with candy, as his sister told Essence magazine in 2008.

Mo'Nique's representatives did not immediately respond to's request for comment.