US

Ricky Martin sues nephew who falsely claimed they were in sexual relationship

Ricky Martin has filed a lawsuit against the nephew who claimed he had been in a sexual relationship with the singer and had subsequently been stalked by him.

The Puerto Rican singer’s lawyers said the claim by Dennis Martin, which he has since recanted, has cost him millions of dollars in lost income.

In the lawsuit, filed in the US territory’s Court of First Instance, the singer accuses his nephew of extortion, malicious persecution, abuse of law and damages stemming from false allegations.

It alleges Ricky Martin, 50, has been “persecuted, besieged, harassed, stalked and extorted” by his “troubled” nephew for economic reasons.

The lawsuit also alleges that if the nephew does not obtain any financial benefit, he would continue to “assassinate the reputation and integrity of the artist”.

In July Dennis Martin withdrew a domestic violence complaint in which he alleged he feared for his safety because Martin had refused to accept his decision to end a romantic relationship, and had continued calling him and had loitered outside his home.

The allegations described as “nothing further from the truth” cost Ricky Martin at least $10m in lost income as a result of cancelled contracts and projects as well as $20m in damages to his reputation, according to the lawsuit.

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It accuses his nephew, 21, of sending up to 10 messages a day to Martin between October 2021 and January 2022, the majority of them “meaningless diatribes without any particular purpose” – and of publishing the singer’s private number on Instagram, which he was forced to change as a result.

According to the lawsuit, several months then went by without his nephew sending a message until he obtained a restraining order against Martin in July.

Martin had denied the man’s allegations against him, saying they were “completely false”.

After the restraining order against Martin was lifted by a court in Puerto Rico earlier this summer and the case was closed, the singer tweeted “truth prevails”.

In a video shared with the media by his publicist, the Livin’ la Vida Loca singer called the allegations “painful” and “devastating”.

“To the person who was claiming this nonsense, I wish him the best, and I wish he finds the help so he can start a new life filled with love and truth and joy, and he doesn’t hurt anyone else,” he said.

“Now, my priority is to heal… with music. I cannot wait to be back on stage. I can’t wait to be back in front of the cameras and entertain, which is what I do best.”

Martin has been married to Syrian-Swedish painter Jwan Yosef since 2017, and the couple live in the north coastal town of Dorado in Puerto Rico with their two children.

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