Ricky Martin admitted being accused of incest was the “most painful thing” he has ever experienced.

The Livin’ La Vida Loca hitmaker took legal action against his nephew in 2022 after Dennis Yadiel Sanchez sought a protective order against him, with his allegations including they had a seven-month relationship before later withdrawing his request and the 52-year-old singer admitted the scandal was the “worst” thing that’s ever happened to him.

He told America’s GQ magazine: “It’s the worst. The most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. Thank God it was baseless.”

Ricky came out as gay in 2010 after the birth of his twins Valentino and Matteo, now 15, to a surrogate, and he doesn’t think he’d have enjoyed the career he has if he’d spoken about his sexuality earlier.

Asked what would have happened if he’d come out in 1999, he said: “I don’t think [the success] would’ve been the same. There is a force that is coming with heavy hate.”

The She Bangs singer – who also has Lucia, five, and Renn, three, with ex-husband Jwan Yosef – admitted he was “scared” to come out because even close friends had warned it would spell “the end” for his chart success.

He recalled: “I was the man of the moment with my ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’ and shaking hips. I was expected to be something… I was scared.

“There’s no light in the closet. Every time I see an adolescent coming out, I’m like, You’re so lucky, because you don’t have to deal with this ever again.”

Ricky regrets asking his family and friends to keep his sexuality secret.

He said: “I brought them into this. I don’t want guilt or shame. Because only if you’re wearing my shoes would you know what I was going through.”

And when he eventually came out publicly, the star “felt amazing”.

He said: “It felt amazing. Can you come out twice, three times? I wish I had done it before. Yesterday is forever beyond our control. There’s nothing you can do about what we’ve lived.”

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