Ricky Martin Says He Has ‘PTSD’ From When Barbara Walters Confronted Him On Sexuality

by : Emily Brown on : 07 Jun 2021 18:50
PA Images

Singer Ricky Martin has reflected on the moment Barbara Walters confronted him about his sexuality on national television, saying he now has ‘PTSD’ from the interview. 

The singer came out publicly with a statement on his website in 2010, but many people queried his sexuality in the years prior, and until he came out even Martin wasn’t sure how to describe his sexuality.


Throughout the 1990s and 2000s he dated women publicly and men in private, all the while asking himself: ‘Am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I confused? What am I?’

Despite still attempting to figure out his sexuality himself, Martin, who is now married to Syrian-Swedish artist Jwan Yosef, was thrown in the deep end in 2000 when Walters addressed the rumours regarding his personal life during an interview.

She said: ‘You could stop these rumours. You could say, ‘Yes I am gay or no I’m not’.’


Martin was stunned by the question, but managed to side-step a definitive answer by responding: ‘I just don’t feel like it.’

Reflecting on the jarring moment in a new interview with People for the publication’s annual Pride issue, Martin described feeling ‘violated’ when Walters dropped the question because he ‘was just not ready to come out’.

He continued: ‘I was very afraid. There’s a little PTSD with that.’

Ricky Martin (Ricky Martin/Instagram)Ricky Martin/Instagram

More than 20 years later, now that he is open about his sexuality and married, Martin noted that a lot of people ask him what he would do differently with regards to discussing his sexuality, and suggested that maybe he ‘would have come out in that interview.’

He explained: ‘It would’ve been great because when I came out, it just felt amazing. When it comes to my sexuality, when it comes to who I am, I want to talk about what I’m made of, about everything that I am. Because if you hide it, it’s a life-or-death situation.’

The singer noted that he did not have an LGBTQ+ mentor to look up to or seek advice from when he was growing up, and stressed this is still an issue today, saying: ‘All [kids] have around them is people telling them, ‘What you’re feeling is evil.’

Ricky Martin on stage (PA Images)PA Images

He continued: ‘But, you can’t force someone to come out. But if you have an egg and you open it from the outside, only death comes out. But if the egg opens up from the inside, life comes out.’

Martin has said he is ‘really insecure’ and ‘super socially awkward’, but rather than having to deal with the anxiety of questioning who he was, the singer said the difference today is that ‘I know I’m socially awkward.’

When he came out in 2010, Martin described himself as a ‘fortunate homosexual man,’ and said he was ‘blessed’ to be who he is.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images


If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, LGBTQ+, Pride Month


  1. People

    Ricky Martin Doesn't Want to Hide Who He Is Anymore: 'I Am a Man with No Secrets'