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."