08 September 2022

Singer Ricky Martin sues nephew over false sexual abuse allegations

08 September 2022

Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin has filed a lawsuit against his nephew accusing him of extortion, malicious persecution, abuse of law and damages stemming from false allegations of sexual abuse.

Martin’s lawyers said the claim by the nephew, which he has since recanted, has cost the singer millions of dollars in lost income.

The lawsuit filed in the US territory’s Court of First Instance alleges that Martin has been “persecuted, besieged, harassed, stalked and extorted” by his “troubled” nephew for economic reasons.

It further alleges that if the nephew does not obtain any financial benefit, he would continue to “assassinate the reputation and integrity of the artist”.

Martin’s lawyers said the claim by the nephew, which he has since recanted, has cost the singer millions of dollars in lost income (Ian West/PA)

The lawsuit contends the harassment has continued even though Martin’s nephew, identified as Dennis Yadiel Sanchez Martin, admitted under oath in July that he had never been sexually assaulted by the artist.

Mr Sanchez had previously taken legal action against his uncle based on those false allegations, which prompted a judge in Puerto Rico to issue a restraining order against Martin in July that a court later suspended.

Those allegations cost Martin at least 10 million dollars (£8.7 million) in lost income as a result of cancelled contracts and projects as well as 20 million dollars in damages to his reputation, according to the lawsuit.

The attorney who represented Mr Sanchez in that case could not be immediately reached for comment. It was not clear if she also would be representing Mr Sanchez in the lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The lawsuit stated that from October 2021 to January 2022, Mr Sanchez would send up to 10 messages a day to Martin, the majority of them “meaningless diatribes without any particular purpose”.

It also accused Mr Sanchez of publishing Martin’s private number on Instagram, which forced the singer to change his number.

Several months then went by without Mr Sanchez sending a message until he requested the protection order in July against Martin, according to the lawsuit.

It also said Mr Sanchez falsely alleged that he had had a romantic relationship with Martin for seven months and that Martin supposedly did not want the relationship to end and kept calling Mr Sanchez with frequency.

“Nothing further from the truth,” according to the lawsuit.

It also said two restraining orders had previously been filed against Mr Sanchez in an unrelated stalking case.

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