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Who is Edgardo Díaz? Ricky Martin's ex-bandmates from Menudo allege sexual abuse by manager

Menudo was formed by Edgardo Díaz, and consisted of around 40 members over the decades it was active, including Ricky Martin
Menudo (L) was formed by Edgardo Díaz (R) with five members in 1977 (HBO Max and marinamenuda/YouTube)
Menudo (L) was formed by Edgardo Díaz (R) with five members in 1977 (HBO Max and marinamenuda/YouTube)

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains information about sexual assault that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised.

Among the boy bands that became the heartthrob in the 1970s was Menudo, a group of young boys singing in Spanish. The band was created by Edgardo Díaz and consisted of around 40 members in its group over the decades it was active, including Ricky Martin. The number of members in the band, which released its last studio album in 2009, increased with time because as the boys turned 16 and hit puberty, they were replaced with new, younger members, keeping the boy band forever young. And now, the band is again under the spotlight due to a new HBO Max docuseries titled ‘Menudo: Forever Young’.

The docuseries, released on June 23, has been divided into four-part that talk about the group's history, its popularity, interviews of the band members, and also shed light on some disturbing and horrifying allegations of sexual abuse. Angelo Garcia, who joined the band at the age of 11, claimed that he was raped and narrated the details of the assault that took place in his hotel room after he was given alcohol by an undisclosed man. He said in the documentary, “All I remember was that I, like, passed out. When I woke up, I was naked and I was bleeding, so I knew that I had been penetrated. I had, like, these burn marks on my face from the rug … I was very confused and I didn’t understand." He also added, "During my time in Menudo, I was raped a series of times, and that was the way that predators would take advantage of me."


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As per New York Post, other Menudo members also stated that they were sexually abused, bullied, and forced to work under grueling conditions. The docuseries revealed that there was no adult supervision, and the boys were exposed to drugs like cocaine. Such exploitation took place while they worked for the boy band’s mastermind Edgardo Díaz, who they described as “their manager, producer, and father surrogate.” "We were pawns of his business,” said one of the members, Ray Acevedo, who was in the band from 1985 to 1988.

Andy Blázquez, another member who was in the group from 1991 to 1997, explained the uncomfortable feeling with the sexualization that happened from the start. "I remember Edgardo saying, ‘You know the pleasure that you get when you’re pooping? That’s what anal sex feels like’,” he said.

Who is Edgardo Diaz?

He was the producer cum manager who created the band with five boys in 1977. According to the docuseries, Edgardo would ask the band members’ parents to waive their parental authority, making him the kids’ legal guardian. As per TheCinemaholic, by 1991, Menudo’s members started quitting the band and talked about the physical and mental abuse they faced, accusing Edgardo. He currently seems to live in Puerto Rico and had worked as a judge on a kids’ singing competition in 2013. He has denied the abuse allegations. In a conversation with Primera Hora in 2014, he said, “I am not going to spend the rest of my life defending myself and responding to allegations.”