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What Erik and Lyle Menendez Say About Former Menudo Singer's Accusations Against Dad Jose
The three-part Peacock documentary "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed" details former Menudo singer Roy Rossello's allegations of abuse.
Erik and Lyle Menendez continue to advocate for their release from prison, more than 30 years after they were found guilty of murdering their parents.
Over the years, their case has been brought back into the national spotlight through documentaries revisiting the brothers' claims that they were abused by their father and mother, Jose and Kitty Menendez. But this time, the Peacock documentary "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed" is bringing renewed attention to the case through another person's allegations of abuse: Roy Rosselló, a former member of the Latin pop group Menudo.
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In the documentary, Erik Menendez learns about the new allegations during a phone call with journalist Robert Rand. "I feel horrible. It's sad to know that there was another victim of my father," Erik said.
"I always hoped and believed that one day the truth about my dad and what he did—rape and molestation—would come out and that I'd be believed," he continued. "For so long, people just refused to believe it. But I never wished for it to come out like this, as the result of trauma that another child has suffered. It makes me very sad."
And though Rosselló's accusations were not exactly surprising to Erik, he said he's shocked that someone has come forward all these years later, because Erik said he understands how terrifying his father was.
"My father made it clear to me that if I ever told anyone at that point, that he'd kill me. He'd kill anyone I told. He'd sit me in front of a mirror, and he would describe ways to take my life. He'd pound into me over and over again that he gave me life and he'd take it," Erik said in a phone call with Rand. "And I believed him."
The brothers felt their only way of escaping the abuse was to kill their parents, as they testified during their trials in the '90s. The first two juries considering the charges against the brothers were deadlocked but following a second trial — in which claims of sexual abuse were limited by the judge — a jury voted to convict the brothers of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Since then, much has been said about the trials, including the fact that the juries were not allowed to consider manslaughter charges. Nonetheless, the Menendez brothers' appeals were consistently denied, so Erik isn't optimistic about his chances.
He told Rand that Rosselló's accusations are "very validating to me on a personal level," but he doesn't believe it will make a difference. "What it means on a legal level, I don't know. I'm pretty discouraged by the system at this point," he said.
To learn more about Rosselló's story, tune in to "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed," streaming now on Peacock.