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Former Menudo Member Roy Rosselló Accuses Jose Menendez Of Abuse
In the three-part Peacock documentary "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed," the pop group's connection to the Menendez brothers is detailed.
Former Menudo band member Roy Rosselló is speaking out about the abuse he said he endured at the hands of Jose Menendez, father of convicted murderers Erik and Lyle Menendez.
Rosselló's allegations are at the center of the three-part Peacock documentary "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed," revealing the ties that the late Jose Menendez had to the Latin pop group in the '80s. During this time, Rosselló claims he was sexually abused by Jose and music producer Edgardo Diaz.
"I knew this moment would come and that through my story others would learn to heal themselves," Rosselló said in the documentary. "The mission starts today."
Rosselló joined the group after visiting Diaz's office in Puerto Rico, where, according to Rosselló, Diaz took notice of the then-13-year-old. Diaz allegedly convinced the teen to apply to join the group, which was growing in popularity. "I got caught up in his promises and the promises of his entourage," Rosselló said.
During a visit with Diaz, Rosselló said in the documentary that the music producer told him he could be famous, but warned: "You will have to do things that you might not want to do." That night, Rosselló alleges he was sexually abused by Diaz for the first time.
Since Rosselló said he didn't tell anyone about the sexual abuse he describes in the documentary, he said his mother, Miriam Diaz (no relation to Edgardo), signed a contract with Diaz, who had offered a generous amount of money to the then-struggling family. "I didn't want to see my mother suffering in a poor neighborhood. I had to do something. I had to make a decision," Rosselló said.
But in doing so, Rosselló said, "I signed my soul away with that contract... To this day, I still suffer with that."
As Rosselló performed and toured with the group, he said Diaz continued to abuse him behind closed doors, driving him into a deep depression.
Then, before leaving Menudo in 1986, Rossello said he was raped by Jose Menendez at the RCA executive's home in New Jersey, where he was told he'd be having dinner.
"I drank some white wine. I didn't drink wine. I was 13 years old," Rosselló said. "But that day, Jose Menendez told me, 'Drink the wine because it's amazing and it's very expensive. Drink the whole glass.' So I drank it all."
He continued, "After I drank the wine, I started to feel tired and heavy. I couldn't move anymore. From that point on, everything looked blurry."
He recalled in the documentary that when he woke up, he was in a hotel room and that is when he said he realized he'd been raped. "I could barely stand the pain. I couldn't even move," Rosselló said.
Diaz has consistently denied allegations of abuse and has not been charged in connection with any of the allegations.
Erik Menendez, whose conversation with reporter Robert Rand is played in the documentary, remembered seeing Roy come to the home once. "When they were over at their house, he'd [Jose] have a meeting with the boys one at a time," Erik said.
As for what happened behind closed doors, Erik said, "I didn't question what my dad did... with the molestation with my father, I didn't know that it was not supposed to happen. I was just a kid."
When Rosselló learned years later that Jose and Kitty Menendez had been killed by Erik and Lyle, he said that he felt nothing. "A person that hurts a child and, on top of that, his own son, he doesn't deserve to live," Rosselló said.
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.
Rosselló said that it took him a long time to cope with the abuse, which other members allegedly faced and spoke about with reporter Bolivar Arellano, who attempted to hold Diaz accountable in the early '90s. When Arellano took his claims to "Controversy," a popular talk show hosted by Carmen Jovet in Puerto Rico, the police arrived and threatened to arrest him. Eventually, Arellano was charged with defamation and ordered to issue a statement that he lied, according to "Menendez + Menudo."
Ray Reyes, who died in April 2021, was another former Menudo singer who intended to speak out against Diaz. His brother, Raul, shared with producers recorded audio of his brother accusing Diaz of being a "sick pedophile."
Like Rosselló, Raul said that it was a dream come true for the Reyes family when Ray joined Menudo because of the opportunities it afforded the family. Raul even hoped to join the group as the next Menudo, but he said that Ray discouraged him from trying to join.
In the documentary, Rosselló said he wants to see justice served for himself and Erik and Lyle.
However, the brothers themselves are not optimistic that that the accusations contained in the documentary will help them leave prison, having already submitted multiple appeals in the 30-plus years that they've been behind bars. Erik explained, the allegations are "very validating to me on a personal level. What it means on a legal level, I don't know."
"I'm pretty discouraged by the system at this point," he added.
To learn more about Rosselló's story, tune in to "Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed," streaming now on Peacock.