Typically might have been simply one other random boy band crammed with cheeky personalities, lackluster dance strikes, and coordinated spandex.
However music promoter/supervisor Edgardo Diaz wittily realized that the issue with boy bands is that boys ultimately turn into males. So Diaz made the rule that when a member turned 16, he was kicked out for a younger alternative.
The forged of Menudo, which suggests, amongst different issues, “small” or “free change,” has encompassed dozens of artists since its inception in 1977, when Diaz used a baby turnstile.
Its most well-known export? Ricky Martin.
However as “Menudo: Without end Younger,” HBO Max’s four-part docuseries that started airing Thursday, reveals in scathing interviews with 13 former members, not together with Martin, life within the Puerto Rican-raised group, dissolved in 2009, it was hardly a pageant of pleasure
The allegations embrace bodily, sexual and psychological abuse by Diaz; grueling hours and lack of parental supervision (Díaz required the kids’s mother and father to signal most authorized rights earlier than they may turn into members); and a few typical present enterprise shenanigans (the versatile Robby Rosa posed as 13 though he was at the very least 15 as a result of Diaz needed a bilingual member to assist break the US market).
Diaz, seen on the finish of the third episode, didn’t reply to requests for interviews or touch upon the allegations and has denied all allegations of abuse and mismanagement.
USA TODAY was unable to seek out Diaz’s contact info.
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Menudo’s first recruits, Ricky Meléndez (1977 to 1984), Díaz’s cousin, and the nonetheless charismatic Johnny Lozada (1980 to 1984) present necessary historic knowledge on the evolution of the group, from management over their hair and clothes to the explosion . of merchandise Menudo.
However some later members share extra critical claims with administrators Ángel Manuel Soto and Kristofer Ríos.
Among the many revelations:
Member of Menudo Angelo García alleges that he was raped a number of occasions
Within the third installment of the documentary, essentially the most delicate one appropriately titled “Las Accusaciones”, Angelo García says that he was “raped quite a few occasions” throughout his tenure at Menudo from 1988 to 1990.
García says that an nameless man who was a part of Menudo’s entourage gave him alcohol and he handed out. When he awoke, “I used to be bare and bleeding, so I knew I had been penetrated,” he says. “I had, like, these burn marks on my face from the rug. … He was very confused and didn’t perceive”.
Garcia additionally tells a narrative about how different males in Menudo’s circle groped her in an elevator.
Boy band members allege Menudo’s manufacturing crew threatened to the touch their personal elements
Along with the accusations of sexual assault, there are reminiscences about inappropriate video games.
Andy Blázquez (1991 to 1997) and Jonathan Montenegro (1990 to 1991) inform nearly equivalent tales in regards to the Menudo manufacturing crew that threatens to the touch the personal elements of kids as a ceremony of passage into the group. Blázquez shares that as they held him down, ready for the match, the crew members started to sing a foolish music.
“That was not enjoyable,” says Blázquez, including that there was at all times an environment of “excessive sexualization” and feedback about anal intercourse.
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Members, together with Montenegro and Rawy Torres (1989 to 1991), describe a depressing existence within the group with no jokes, laughter, and enjoyable allowed.
However what’s most worrying is that Montenegro describes an incident when Díaz, sandwiched between two Menudo members within the again seat of a automobile, started to battle with them. Because the horseplay intensified, a younger man threw Diaz’s glasses on the ground of the automobile. Diaz responded by repeatedly punching the boy, who was upset however needed to shake off the incident to attend a information convention. Montenegro says that he tried to supply help to his nameless groupmate. “I noticed this had occurred earlier than,” he says.
Performing whereas significantly ailing was additionally anticipated, former members say. Garcia complained of extreme abdomen pains earlier than a present, and Diaz informed him, “What’s fallacious with you is that you do not need to work.” After the efficiency, Garcia ran offstage and vomited blood; he alone then he was taken to the hospital for an almost ruptured appendix.
Garcia and Ray Acevedo (1985 to 1988) have been additionally taken to the hospital whereas touring Latin America after repeatedly telling Diaz they weren’t feeling nicely; each have been hospitalized with critical lung infections.
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Ricky Martin was ‘the least proficient’ however the ‘golden boy’, members declare
Acevedo coincided with Martín all through his profession at Menudo and expresses shock that Mr. “Livin’ La Vida Loca” turned a world celebrity.
“Of all of the members that got here out (of Menudo), he was the least proficient, (however) essentially the most good-looking,” says Acevedo. “Ricky was the golden boy.”
The truth is, the footage reveals that the then diminutive Martin did not supply a lot singing, however he was nonetheless within the highlight attributable to his adorability and fluency in English.
His associate Menudo Sergio Blass (1986 to 1991), who was kicked out of the group after a marijuana possession arrest at Miami Worldwide Airport, reviews that Martin liked the “golden boy” label.
As a result of Martin had extra seniority than Blass, he was handled like a rookie.
“Being with Ricky was brutal,” says Blass. “If somebody knocked on the door, I needed to open it. If the cellphone rang, he needed to reply it. I used to be like his housewife.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Martin for remark.