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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Alexandra Del Rosario

Ricky Martin fires back at nephew with $20 million lawsuit for ‘false’ accusations

More than a month after his nephew dropped his allegations of incest and harassment, Ricky Martin is not backing down.

After saying in July that he needed time to heal from the scandal, the Puerto Rican superstar now seeks $20 million in damages, according to a new lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The legal document, which lists Martin as the plaintiff and his nephew Dennis Yadiel Sanchez Martin as the defendant, alleges that the “Livin’ la Vida Loca” singer has been “persecuted, besieged, harassed, stalked and extorted by a maladjusted person.”

The suit describes the defendant as someone “whose interest is to obtain an economic benefit or, in the alternative, will continue his eagerness to assassinate the reputation and integrity of the artist.”

Martin, 50, is suing his nephew as a result of his “reckless, malicious and culpable actions.” The suit alleges that the Latin pop artist has had “multimillion dollar-contracts and present and future artistic projects cancelled” since the allegations.

On July 1, an anonymous petitioner filed for a civil protection order against Martin under Act 54, Puerto Rico’s domestic violence law. The petitioner claimed that he and performer engaged in an affair over the course of seven months.

The petitioner also alleged that Martin called him recently and loitered around his residence on three separate occasions upon ending the relationship, causing the petitioner to “fear for his safety.”

The singer’s brother, Eric Martin, revealed the accuser to be Martin’s 21-year-old nephew.

Days after the petition was filed, Martin, who’s been married to artist Jwan Yosef since 2017, denied the allegations in a statement posted to his social media accounts.

“The protection order entered against me is based on completely false allegations, so I will respond through the judicial process with the facts and the dignity that characterize me,” Martin’s statement said.

The singer’s lawyer then doubled down, asserting that his client has “never been — and would never be — involved in any kind of sexual or romantic relationship with his nephew.”

On July 21, Martin’s nephew withdrew his claims, just one day before Martin’s two-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl, where fans expressed their support.

“I’m glad these claims were proven to be false, but I’m going to tell you the truth, it has been so painful — it has been devastating for me, for my family, for my friends,” Martin said in a video statement obtained by TMZ the same day the allegations were dropped. “I don’t wish this upon anybody.”

He added: “To the person who was claiming this nonsense, I wish him the best, and I wish he finds the help so he can start a new life filled with love and truth and joy, and he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Now, my priority is to heal ... with music.”

Times staff writers Suzy Exposito, Christi Carras and Kenan Draughorne contributed to this report.


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