Ricky Martin’s ‘alleged domestic violence accuser’ is his 21-year-old nephew

A couple of weeks ago, a curious story appeared about Ricky Martin. Martin was the subject of a domestic abuse restraining order in Puerto Rico. Ricky and his husband live in Puerto Rico, and my first thought was that the restraining order possibly had something to do with Ricky’s husband Jwan Yosef. It does not. I’m also really side-eyeing the f–k out of the fact that Ricky’s publicist blanketed the media two weeks ago with denials and promises that Ricky will be vindicated. The story absolutely went to the worst case scenario:

Ricky Martin’s alleged domestic violence accuser is one of his own family members … and now the pop star’s reportedly staring down the possibility of a half-century behind bars. A new report Friday from Spanish news website Marca identifies Ricky’s accuser as his 21-year-old nephew, Dennis Yadiel Sanchez, which would introduce incest into the case in Puerto Rico.

The singer’s brother, Eric Martin, reportedly identified the alleged victim … and Ricky is going to court July 21. Under Puerto Rican law, there are harsher penalties for certain sexual crimes when the alleged victim is related to the accused, but it is unclear exactly what Martin is facing.

Nevertheless, Marca is reporting that Martin faces up to 50 years behind bars if convicted.

As we reported … Ricky was accused of domestic violence earlier this month, and the alleged victim, whose identity was previously unknown, got a temporary restraining order against Ricky, who has denied the allegations. Now, Marca is reporting the nephew allegedly ended a 7-month relationship with Ricky … Ricky allegedly did not take it well, continuing to contact his nephew and showing up at his nephew’s home.

[From TMZ]

His nephew. His 21-year-old blood-relative nephew. I feel sick. After Marca’s report was widely picked up across the globe, Ricky Martin’s lawyer Marty Singer (who is the top, top crisis manager/lawyer in Hollywood) then went to TMZ and other outlets with this denial:

“Unfortunately, the person who made this claim is struggling with deep mental health challenges. Ricky Martin has, of course, never been – and would never be – involved in any kind of sexual or romantic relationship with his nephew…. The idea is not only untrue, it is disgusting. We all hope that this man gets the help he so urgently needs. But, most of all, we look forward to this awful case being dismissed as soon as a judge gets to look at the facts.”

[From TMZ]

Ricky’s brother Eric Martin has also been in blanket-denial mode and claiming similar things, which is that this young man is mentally unwell and estranged from the family. Eric makes the point that the restraining order was granted not because they believe the nephew is credible, but because the police are currently investigating his claims. I don’t know about any of it, but I find the public dismissal of “this young man struggles from mental health issues” to be incredibly damaging. Especially since both things can be true – the nephew can have mental health struggles AND be a victim of a predatory relative. What an incredibly disturbing story.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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68 Responses to “Ricky Martin’s ‘alleged domestic violence accuser’ is his 21-year-old nephew”

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  1. Kiera says:

    So what’s really weird is that I have seen people being really intense about the fact that the nephew isn’t related by blood. It’s his step sister I guess. And they’re like see no incest!! I’m really disturbed by them.

    Also I’ve also read that the “step sister” may be more like a half sister. Not totally sure. The reporting on this is all over the place.

    • s808 says:

      apparently it is his half sister as they share the same father but like you said, reporting has been all over the place.

    • DeniseMich says:

      I think the story is most disturbing when it is incest.

      If the nephew is not truly a blood relation it is an inappropriate relationship gone bad.


      • Kiera says:

        Agree it’s not legal incest by he probably grew up with Uncle Ricky. Considered him an authority/parental figure. So though not technically incest it’s defiantly incest adjacent.

      • Lucy says:

        Yep. It’s all bad. Getting all “well technically…” about it is just gross.

      • sunny says:

        Absolutely. Both are bad. I am not fussed about people making the distinction because I think calling the thing by the right term is important.

        The way Ricky’s people have tried to manage the narrative on this is gross and I feel terrible for the young man involved. Can you imagine the trauma after something like this????

      • As someone who is adopted, let me tell you, YESSSSSSS THAT IS HIS FAMILY. Incest taboos don’t just exist though bloodlines. The thought of having sex with my uncles or my DAD is disgusting and unthinkable, whether they are bloodlines or not, and anyone justifying this is as disgusting as the people who justify Woody Allen.

        Also, anyone who watches a child grow up has no business, and if they are normal, DOES NOT WANT TO HAVE SEX with A CHILD THEY WATCHED GROW UP! Think of watching your best friend’s kid grow up? Could you then have sex with them?!?!?!!?!? I cant believe anyone can say, “Oh they aren’t family!” Don’t tell me my family is not my family. That is insulting and very wrong.

      • MC2 says:

        Incest is the abuse of one family member onto another- it does not have to be blood related. Let’s not give Woody Allen & other pedos who find their victims in their family unit a pass…the victims have to deal with the aded layer of that, regardless of DNA.

      • C says:

        No. All this kind of take does is invalidate adoption.

    • Ameerah says:

      This! It’s really disgusting how people are trying to make excuses for this. Meanwhile these same people are grossed out by Errol Musk having babies with his stepdaughter. It’s the same thing!
      And even if you take out the relation aspect he still preyed on and stalked a vulnerable young man,

    • MissMarirose says:

      shades of Woody and Soon-Yi

    • Borgqueen says:

      Let’s not forget Ricky got his start as a wee 12 yr old in Menudo which later members recently said they were raped by various adults over the years. Another lil known fact that the creator of Menudo was bff with the Melendez brothers who accused their dad of sexual assault.

  2. Amy Bee says:


  3. s808 says:

    married with kids messing around with his nephew. YUCK on so many levels my goodness.

  4. Laalaa says:

    I doubt Ricky did this… Incest is really .. tragic and disgusting.
    I mean, if you were Ricky and you know you’re innocent, how would you react?! Of course he’s staying silent.
    Ricky is 50 years old, if he had ANY such tendencies I want to believe it wouldn’t take this long for people to find out.
    Disgusting allegations, I sincerely hope he is truly innocent. His and Enrique’s CDs are the first I ever bought! #dontjudge

    • Ameerah says:

      Why do you doubt it? Because he’s someone you like?

    • C says:

      None of these arguments track, honestly. If I knew I was innocent of incest I sure as hell would be speaking out.

      • Laalaa says:

        But he did – he has an attorney who said he’s innocent.
        I wouldn’t speak on my own in this situation, the press is there to get me.
        Not defending Ricky – if he is guilty, I will condemn him. Just saying I understand why he himself is silent.

    • No says:

      @laalaa oh girl no with this reasoning. Most pedophiles and abusers can stay secret and hidden their whole lives.

      • Laalaa says:

        It wasn’t a reasoning, it was – I hope he is innocent because if he isn’t, that means that he’s been doing it this whole time and he was protected.

    • MoonTheLoon says:

      @LaaLaa- Bill Cosby went nearly 50 years being seen as one of America’s father figures before the rape/drug allegations started. It took another decade after that before someone managed to get him convicted. Jimmy Savile, in the UK, went just as long and ages after his death before the sexual abuse on sick children was revealed a few years ago. They were both beloved figures and meant a lot of money to a lot of people. Allowing their public images to be destroyed left powerful incentive for people to cover things. I’m a fan of Ricky’s too and would love for this not to be true. But if it is, it just is. I’d rather be wrong vs discouraging a legitimate victim and causing them further trauma. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  5. badrockandroll says:

    Shades of Woody Allen … not really his daughter, his step-daughter. Not really Ricky Martin’s nephew, his step-sister’s son.
    As much as I thought that Ricky Martin was one of the “good guys”, and as much as I hope this story isn’t all true, even if you take the “blood incest” out of the story, you are left with “de facto” incest, the possible preying on a vulnerable person and infidelity. Ick.

  6. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Predator’s often routinely prey on the mentally unwell. Not saying Martin did this at all, just pointing this out.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Add to that being a survivor of abuse can impact mental health in a major, life long way.


      A survivor of CSA, now in trauma therapy 35 years after the abuse ended.
      I never reported my abuse as I feared I would not be believed because of my mental health struggles.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Oh, my God. So sorry you went and are still going through this. I cannot put into writing what I wish has or will happen to your abuser.

      • Dashen’ka says:

        This is my story too. I am glad you are receiving help, it is crucial, wish you good things.

      • Christina says:

        Oh, Zapp!! Sending hugs and wishing you love and joy. I read and adore your comments. You are so awesome here. Thank you for telling us this.

        Your experience is common and heartbreaking. It happened in my family. A young relative didn’t think that anyone would believe her because she was considered the sensitive, vulnerable one. She endured addiction. She is better now, but her abuser is a relative. I just found out because he abuséd two girls in our family, and one just came to me about it. I will be confronting the relative. Parents don’t know yet. All were minors when it happened, and they are all adults now, but it was an older teen sexually assaulting younger teens. I am disgusted and am strategizing how to out him without hurting the girls.

      • Jaded says:

        @Zapp and Dashen’ka — am so very very sorry you both had to suffer through this. I was sexually abused by a good friend of my parents when I was 8 or 9. The friendship was immediately ended but the after-effects for me lasted for several decades. My cousin was sexually abused by her father (my uncle) and for 50 years she never spoke of it until a few years ago after he died. She’s found a great therapist and is working through it.

        Sending you both lots of sympathy.

    • Steph says:

      I was going to say the same thing. Being mentally unwell, just like with any disability, leaves you more vulnerable to abuse.

    • MissMarirose says:

      I came here to say this. Predators chose vulnerable people for their victims just so they can later use that vulnerability to claim the victim can’t be believed.

  7. Lucy2 says:


  8. girl_ninja says:

    Horrible on EVERY level. I hope that this young man is safe and gets justice.

  9. Polo says:

    I’m trying to reserve judgment as reporting on this seems to be all over the place but wow!!
    If this isn’t true how does Ricky even come back from this? It’s already all over the place.
    If it is true just why? How awful for nephew and the whole family. Ugh

  10. Louise177 says:

    A cop-out but I need more info. It’s harder to believe when the accused has always a good reputation. Ricky has always been the nice guy so this is so shocking.

    • Beenie says:

      I don’t know if it’s really a cop out. The reporting is all over the place, the police have stated they are investigating, and there are multiple statements contradicting each other. I think saying “need more info” is okay?

  11. Colby says:

    First of all, I want to put it out there that I am an SA survivor, so my default it to believe people.

    However, I have a bipolar family member and every time she’s manic, she accuses her husband and his sister of sleeping together, accuses them of sleeping with their parents. It’s all delusions – and her mania can last for months.

    • Ameerah says:

      Now imagine having mental health issues and being abused and then your mental health being weaponized against you.

      • Colby says:

        It would be terrible of course. But delusions in a manic state are real. If this man is having an episode, it’s important to keep that in mind, IMO.

      • Emma33 says:

        Now imagine being accused of abuse you didn’t commit by someone who has serious mental health issues!

        This can go both ways, and as yet, we don’t know which way it is because the full truth hasn’t come out. I don’t think I need to have kind of opinion on this situation yet, because not enough facts have come out about it.

    • Christina says:

      My community believed my husband was a pedophile because of my ex. Now my daughter lives with me and my husband and we have a permanent restraining order.

      Best to let this play out in court where every detail will be examined. If it is a complicated story, it needs to be reviewed by a judge. I want to believe the victim, but my kid was brainwashed to fear my husband, and it was weaponized against us because I refused to return to my abusive ex. My ex has a personality disorder with phases of psychotic breaks. He’s a diagnosed narcissistic sociopath, but our community didn’t know the details I did, so they believed him until I was finally able to prove it in court and my daughter told everyone it wasn’t true.

    • Ms. says:

      Mania does not last for months. She may have bipolar disorder in addition to something else, and mania can cause periods of psychosis, but if that’s lasting for months, something else is the cause.

      I promise I am not nitpicking. Bipolar disorder is widely misunderstood and deeply stigmatized, so I find it important to correct misinformation. I’m not aiming to stigmatizing any other disorders either – anybody suffering from a psychotic disorder is far more likely to be a victim of violence than to harm someone else.

      • reila says:

        I fully agree bipolar is a very misunderstood mood disorder. However manic episodes can absolutely last for weeks and months if they are untreated or not treated sufficiently. My husband has a severe case of bipolar type 1 with psychosis and he had multiple psychiatrists suggest electroconvulsive therapy as a treatment plan. My husband is a rapid cycler.

        “Untreated, an episode of mania can last anywhere from a few days to several months.”

  12. HeyKay says:

    Awful. Just awful from every angle.

  13. Dee says:

    People need to hold on. This kind of thing happens very often to gay men in the public eye. Sometimes it’s someone trying to shake them down by weaponizing homophobia (happened to Don Lemon this year, he was completely exonerated). Sometimes it’s a disturbed person that develops a fixation.

    I’m not saying the claims are definitely not true, but the fact that only one person made the claims, everyone else is saying the person is both lying, unwell and estranged, I just don’t logistically see how the affair could have happened. So please, let’s hold on for an actual verdict and stop what already looks like a bigoted witch hunt. I’ve seen so much unfounded “groomer” rhetoric thrown at LGBT+ people this year that I would be wary of such narratives without solid proof.

    • Christina says:

      Thank you, Dee. So many people want to make gay men pedophiles. Stories take off, but homophobia is real.

    • Cheesus says:

      Exactly. I’m reserving judgment until a clearer picture emerges. Some commentators on this post are determined to burn Ricky Martin at the stake immediately. It’s alarming.

  14. Kebbie says:

    I’m reserving judgment just because the accusations are so horrific. I’m not usually an “innocent until proven guilty” type of person, but I am in this case. He’s claiming it was a full blown relationship rather than a single incident so I assume there would be phone records, texts, and maybe photos to prove it.

    • Beenie says:

      There’s nothing wrong with being an innocent until proven guilty person, and it’s also okay to use some degree of personal judgement on these things. Like I wrote in another comment, I don’t think it is dismissive or exculpatory to just say “I’ll wait till we get more info,” especially since we know the police are actively looking into this.

  15. Mel says:

    I’m going to reserve judgement until further investigation. I don’t know when we became a “hang people” upon accusation society. The entire situation is gross and creepy.

    • Kebbie says:

      ETA: this was supposed to be a reply to Beenie

      I guess I tend to not like those people because they defend people that have had multiple accusations against them. The last DM post on Kevin Spacey had multiple people saying that.

      I guess that’s my main thing here, there’s one accuser, so I’ll wait for a little more information.

  16. tealily says:

    Whatever’s going on here is really sad.

  17. AnneL says:

    I’m also going to reserve judgment on this until the investigation is complete, assuming it is done thoroughly and professionally.

    I really, really hope it isn’t true because if it is, how awful and disturbing. I don’t know that much about Ricky Martin and I’m not inclined to jump to his defense. That said, with allegations like these, it’s important to listen and give credence to the accuser but also to make sure the accused’s name isn’t dragged through the mud unfairly until we know for a fact that it really happened.

    I’m going to wait on more info.

  18. Dashen'ka says:

    We must not celebrity worship, we must understand, these are not nice and often not good people. Same as politician. It is not usual that good people desire such level of fame, adoration, it is not normal to believe you have secret to fixing country or world. Narcissistic. And those who begin good so often become corrupt after such long years of adoring. (sorry as usual for English)

    • Mel says:

      I don’t think not immediately jumping to conclusions of guilt is celebrity worship. Would you like to be arrested or ruined just by accusations? No? Then give everyone the same treatment. I don’t know if Ricky Martin is guilty of not, I’m not a fan. I would just prefer to hear everything rather than just ruin someone based on an accusation.

  19. Grace says:

    We don’t know the truth yet, but it seems people are already condemning him. If it IS true, then let him suffer the consequences. Until then, let’s let it play out in the courts, where the facts will be revealed. It’s important that we listen to both sides.

  20. WithLove says:

    Rickys team has confirmed it is his blood related nephew. It is rickys half sisters son.

  21. Concern+Fae says:

    I remember a conversation I had with a psychiatrist who dealt with PTSD situations. He actually worked with a private detective to corroborate the stories of his patients. He said almost all of them checked out. But a few didn’t. What he told the patients was that he was completely committed to their recovery and different treatments were called for if they had accurate trauma memories versus if something else was causing their symptoms.

    That has always driven my reactions to these cases. Find out what happened. If it was Ricky, throw the book at him. If not, I hope this young man can find treatment to rebuild his life and that his family can understand how bad things must have been for him to have made these accusations.

    • JaneBee says:

      @Concern+Fae Under the medical codes of many countries, a psychiatrist using a private detective to verify patient information would be illegal? How would the psychiatrist even factor that into patient costs – which, again, in most countries are strictly regulated…

  22. JoleneKolene says:

    Ricky is his Uncle. That’s his nephew. They’re family. That’s all this young man has known all his very young life. Parsing half this, step that is garbage. Weaponizing any possible mental illness history is disgusting. Ricky hired a hit man, Marty Singer, because he’s in deep deep trouble. I believe his nephew has receipts. The family is financially invested in Ricky maintaining his money so they’re going along with this smear campaign. If Ricky pays him off, then you’ll know absolutely that incest occurred. It’s sickening.

    • Ms. says:

      I have no investment in Ricky Martin whatsoever, but if I was accused of molesting a young, mentally unwell relative, you bet you a** I would hire the best in the business. And paying people off in settlement means NOTHING. Lawsuits with no merit are settled every day. I carry malpractice insurance and I’ve been told they can drop me as a policy holder if I don’t settle claims, because it’s so much more expensive to fight them than it is to settle them – it seriously means nothing.

      Youve made a lot of assumptions here. If the allegations are true, I hope all the receipts come out and he spends a looong time in prison. I hope if they’re not, people won’t make backwards assumptions that he must be guilty. Because gay men are OFTEN accused of pedophilia and grooming young men, and we can’t separate the fact that homophobia exists from this story.

  23. jferber says:

    I hope Ricky is innocent, but we will see what turns up. A truly horrific accusation.

  24. Kkat says:

    This was supposed to be a 7 month affair, if it’s true there has to be evidence of this. Texts, phone logs, pictures, ect.

    If there was a relationship at all then I will side with the nephew.
    Because regardless, there would have been a huge power imbalance in Ricky’s favor. And it would be incest.
    So if there is Anything, it is disgusting

  25. Ariel says:

    When I think of the commitment to believe victims of sexual assault I define it as this: those stepping forward should be treated with respect by their communities. Most importantly, their claims should be treated as credible by law enforcement and other institutions, and investigated as such. (Which sadly often does not happen.) It does not mean that the public immediately condemns the accused without evidence. This story is terrible. Whether the young man is a victim of abuse or of a mental health crisis, I hope he finds the support and help he needs. I am withholding a judgement on Ricky Martin until more facts come out.