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Ricky Martin Sues Nephew For $30 Million Over Withdrawn Sexual Abuse and Incest Accusations

Ricky Martin has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the nephew, Dennis Yadiel Sanchez, who had accused him of incest, sexual abuse and harassment but then withdrew the allegations.

By Constance Johnson
Ricky Martin poses during the amfAR Cannes Gala

Ricky Martin has filed a multimillion lawsuit against his nephew over the latter's withdrawn accusations of incest, sexual abuse and stalking.

Martin’s lawyers alleged in the complaint, obtained by People, that the allegations made by his nephew, Dennis Yadiel Sanchez, has cost the "Livin' la Vida Loca" singer millions in income.

He’s seeking at least $10 million for economic damages and $20 million for damage to his “previously impeccable reputation earned through his long artistic and altruistic career.”

Attorneys for Martin wrote in the eight-page complaint — which was filed on Wednesday in Puerto Rico — that the singer is "being persecuted, besieged, harassed, stalked and extorted by a maladjusted person."

They alleged that “the reckless, malicious and culpable actions by Defendant Sanchez were motivated by the desire to expose Plaintiff to hatred and disdain from his fanbase, to threaten his business opportunities and destroy his reputation.”

Sanchez, 21, had claimed in a restraining order application made on July 1 that he and Martin — who is the half-brother of Sanchez's mother — had been romantically involved for seven months. He said the singer refused to accept that their relationship was over, that he feared for his safety and that the singer had stalked him, appearing outside his home on multiple occasions.

A judge issued a temporary, 20-day restraining order against Martin after Sanchez made his allegations, ordering Martin to appear in court at the end of that time period. Sanchez ultimately withdrew his allegations during that court hearing.

The Grammy winner had repeatedly denied any sexual or romantic relationship with his nephew.

“This was never anything more than a troubled individual making false allegations with absolutely nothing to substantiate them,” Martin’s attorney said in a statement after the hearing according to Deadline.

In the lawsuit, Sanchez is also accused of continuing to harass Martin with threats to “assassinate his reputation” unless he is “economically compensated," according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Sanchez messaged the singer up to 10 times a day between October 2021 and January 2022 on both WhatsApp and Instagram; Martin's lawyers characterized the messages as "meaningless diatribes without any particular purpose, written, clearly, by a maladjusted individual" but said that Martin occasionally responded with words of encouragement.

Then, in November, Sanchez allegedly messaged Martin that being his nephew and declaring it publicly had made him "somebody." He allegedly followed that up with an explicit request for Martin to follow him on Instagram — to allow him to brag about being Martin's nephew — which Martin ignored. Sanchez then allegedly asked just before Christmas to take Martin's minor children out to a movie, a request which Martin spurned.

In January, Sanchez messaged that he'd created a "page" for one of Martin's minor children, which concerned the singer, who stopped responding to his nephew at all.

In alleged retaliation, the complaint says that Sanchez published Martin's personal cell phone number on his Instagram account, subjecting the singer to harassment and forcing him to change the number.

The two had no further contact until Sanchez filed the restraining order request on July 1 — and allegedly brought it to the offices of the Puerto Rican newspaper El Volcero, resulting in its broad dissemination. The summons that accompanied the order was not delivered to Martin's counsel in Puerto Rico until July 4.

The day after Martin's lawyer received a summons for the singer to appear in court, the complaint said that Sanchez personally reached out to make an appointment with that lawyer in an apparent effort to try and negotiate a monetary arrangement to withdraw the allegations. (Martin's lawyer did not accept the meeting after Sanchez allegedly refused to be accompanied by his own lawyer.)

The allegations were subsequently withdrawn at the aforementioned hearing on July 21, despite no alleged contact between the two parties. 

Just weeks after the July hearing — on August 12 — the complaint alleges that Sanchez sent an Instagram direct message to Martin which read “Uncle I need your help.” He allegedly followed up on that, messaging Martin on August 14, "how are you?".

The complaint accuses Sanchez of waging a vindictive campaign against Martin.

“The persecution and stalking by Defendant Sanchez have no other explanation than to cause even more harm he has already done to Plaintiff,” the complained says

Martin’s attorneys said that he and his family now feel “unsafe” in Puerto Rico.

Oxygen.com has been unable to reach the attorney representing Sanchez.

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