March 29, 2010 -- 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.
Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.
If someone asked me today, "Ricky, what are you afraid of?" I would answer "the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war...child slavery, terrorism...the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith." But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, It fills me with strength and courage. 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. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment.
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.
What will happen from now on? It doesn't matter. I can only focus on what's happening to me in this moment. The word "happiness" takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.
I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.