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Ricky Martin Says His 2000 Interview With Barbara Walters Left Him Feeling "Violated"

"There’s a little PTSD with that."

Ricky Martin's infamous interview with Barbara Walters impacted him in a deeper way than he's ever admitted.

Ricky wears a white suit jacket and turquoise button up
Sergi Alexander / Getty Images

Back in 2000, the singer was aggressively questioned by Barbara about his sexuality as she asked him to address the rumors that he was gay.

Ricky talks with Barbara in a screenshot from the interview
CTV / Via dai.ly

At the time, Ricky was dating TV presenter Rebecca de Alba but now admits he was confused about his sexuality.

Ricky poses with Rebecca on a red carpet
L. Cohen / WireImage

"'Am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I confused? What am I?' Sexuality is one complicated thing. It's not black and white. It's filled with colors," Ricky explained in a new interview with People.

When Barbara brought up the topic with a barrage of questions and pushed him to address the rumors, Ricky says he felt "violated."

Ricky wears a suit and bowtie to an event
Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for FIJI Water

"When she dropped the question, I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out. I was very afraid. There’s a little PTSD with that," he admitted.

Instead of answering her questions, Ricky simply told her he felt sexuality is something individuals should "deal with in their own way," and he "didn't feel like" addressing the rumors.

Ricky wears a suit jacket and white shirt
Paul Morigi / Getty Images

Looking back on if there was something he'd would have done differently, Ricky says he may have considered coming out back then.

Barbara has since apologized for how she addressed Ricky, naming it as one of her biggest career regrets.

Ricky looks at Barbara in a later interview
Donna Svennevik / Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

"In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was. A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question," Barbara told the Toronto Star.

Ten years after the interview aired, Ricky formally came out as gay on his website and now hopes to be a figure that LGBTQ youth can look up to.

"But you can't force someone to come out. But if you have an egg and you open it from the outside, only death comes out. But if the egg opens up from the inside, life comes out," Ricky concluded.

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