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Erik and Lyle Menendez Speak Out About Menudo Member's Abuse Allegations Against Dad Jose

Peacock's new three-part documentary series "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed" details allegations of sexual abuse by Jose Menendez.

By Cydney Contreras

A former member of the Latin pop group Menudo is bringing renewed attention to the case of the Menendez brothers, who were convicted in 1996 of murdering their father and mother.

In footage aired on NBC's TODAY, Roy Rosselló alleges that Lyle and Erik Menendez's father, Jose Menendez, molested him as a teen. "I know what he did to me in his house," Rosselló says in a preview of the series "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed," premiering May 2 on Peacock.

At the time of the claimed abuse, Jose Menendez was an executive at RCA Records. Rosselló said Jose drugged and raped him at the age of 14 at the Menendez’s New Jersey home.

"That’s the man here that raped me," Rosselló said, pointing to an image of Menendez in the preview. "That's the pedophile." 

Jose Menendez had previously been accused of physical and sexual abuse by sons Erik and Lyle Menendez, who said their mother, Kitty, did nothing to stop him, according to the Los Angeles Times. Their abuse was the focal point of their defense, with the brothers testifying in court that they feared their mother and father would eventually kill them.

The prosecution, however, argued that Erik, then 18, and Lyle, then 21, had killed their parents in hopes of receiving their multi-million-dollar inheritances.

The two juries contemplating the respective fates of the brothers were deadlocked in the first trial, CNN reported at the time. Following a second trial, in which cameras were forbidden and testimony about sexual abuse was limited, the juries voted to convict the brothers of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

More than 30 years later, Erik and Lyle are in prison together and remain steadfast in their innocence. 

As for Rosselló's accusations, the brothers have sympathy for the former singer, according to footage TODAY aired which showed Erik Menendez speaking on the phone to reporter Robert Rand from prison. In their phone call, he recalled seeing Roy with Jose at the Menendez's home, adding, "I feel horrible. It's sad to know that there was another victim of my father."

"I always hoped and believed that one day the truth about my dad would come out," he continued, "but I never wished for it to come out like this—the result of trauma that another child has suffered."

Erik even told Rand that he remembered his father "choosing" the boys that would end up in the band. "I remember him specifically taking one of the kids and going off and saying he wanted to talk to him alone and they went off into the house, upstairs," Erik claimed. 

Lyle added in a separate phone call that he had hoped someone would speak out about his father sooner.

"Of course, that would have made a difference at trial," Lyle continued. "Because the entire trial centered on the public's belief about these events."

One of Kitty Menendez’s brothers, Milton Andersen, 88, has challenged Rosselló’s allegations against Jose and asserted that Erik and Lyle should not be set free, according to reporting from The New York Times.

To learn more about Rosselló's accusations, tune in to the three-part documentary "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed," streaming May 2 on Peacock.