AceShowbiz - Former Menudo singer Angelo Garcia claimed he was "raped a series of times" during his stint with the boy band. Alleging "predators" took advantage of him, the singer, who was just 11 when he joined the Latin group in 1988, claimed he was subjected to multiple sexual assaults during his two years with the band.
"During my time in Menudo, I was raped a series of times, and that was the way that predators would take advantage of me," the 46-year-old confessed. He went into detail about one alleged sexual assault, which he claimed took place in his hotel room after he was given alcohol by an undisclosed man.
According to the New York Post newspaper, Angelo said in upcoming HBO Max docuseries "Menudo: Forever Young", "All I remember was that I, like, passed out. When I woke up, I was naked and I was bleeding, so I knew that I had been penetrated. I had, like, these burn marks on my face from the rug … I was very confused and I didn't understand."
Other members of the group, which featured 32 different members, including Ricky Martin, during their initial 20-year tenure, also claimed they were subjected to sexual abuse, as well as bullying, oppressive working conditions, and drug scandals while working under Svengali Edgardo Diaz, who was described as "their manager, producer and father surrogate."
Ray Acevedo, who was a member of the group from 1985 until 1988, "We were pawns of his business." He remembered "Livin' La Vida Loca" hitmaker Ricky as being the group's "golden kid" from the minute he joined in 1984.
But Ricky, who wasn't interviewed for the four-part series, could allegedly be "brutal" to the other members. Sergio Blass, who was kicked out in 1990 along with Ruben Gomez after they were arrested for marijuana possession, said, "To be with Ricky was brutal because he had seniority over me. So if someone knocked on the door, I had to open it. If the phone rang, I had to pick it up. I was like his housewife."
Sergio also recalled how the band "freaked out" when they were exposed to drugs by those around him. He said, "One time we were in Colombia. I'm with Ruben and we're getting to the hotel. We enter our room. All of a sudden, this random guy comes in … And he pulls out what must have been about a kilo of cocaine … So we freaked out, because we didn't know this person … But the guy was actually one of the producers and promoters."
Edgardo didn't respond to requests to comment on the documentary's allegations but has always denied any abuse or wrongdoing in his management of the group.