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What you need to know about Ricky Martin’s $20 million lawsuit against his nephew

Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin Photo: Shutterstock

In the latest chapter of this summer’s gay tabloid blockbuster, Ricky Martin versus The Nephew, the “She Bangs” singer, 50, filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against Dennis Yadiel Sanchez Martin, 21, Martin’s incest accuser and his half-sister’s son.


Here’s a timeline of how the story has played out so far.

July 1

In a Puerto Rico court, an unidentified individual sought restraining order protection from Martin. The petitioner claimed they’d been in a consensual sexual relationship with the singer for seven months, and had broken up two months before, against Martin’s wishes.

The complaint alleged Martin was routinely “consuming large amounts of alcohol and drugs” and was physically abusive, and that Martin had stalked the individual, loitering at the petitioner’s house on at least three different occasions. The petitioner alleged Martin “exercised physical and psychological attacks.”

‘The petitioner fears for his safety,’ according to the order.

Authorities tried to serve Martin at his residence in the north coastal town of Dorado but were unsuccessful.

Under provisions of Puerto Rico’s Law 54, the Domestic Abuse Prevention and Intervention Act, the petitioner’s identity was protected as a potential victim of bullying or abuse.

When news of the anonymous accusations surfaced, headlines exploded over the “domestic violence” allegations.

July 3

Two days later, Martin responded to the charges on Twitter: “The protection order obtained against me is based on absolutely false allegations. Accordingly, I will answer through the legal process with the facts and the dignity that define me.”

“Because it is an ongoing legal matter,” Martin wrote, “I cannot make detailed statements at this time. I am grateful for the countless messages of solidarity, and I receive them with all my heart.”

July 15

Bombshell: Martin’s older half-brother, Eric Martin, posted live to Facebook that Ricky’s accuser was none other than the Martins’ own nephew, 21 year-old Dennis Yadiel Sánchez Martin, son of the Martins’ half-sister, Vanessa Martin. Eric Martin accused his nephew, now estranged from the family, of hurting other relatives and said he was “tired of being quiet” about his nephew’s deteriorating mental health.

The singer’s legal team weighed in on the salacious revelation: “Ricky Martin has, of course, never been — and would never be — involved in any kind of sexual or romantic relationship with his nephew,” said Martin’s lawyer Martin Singer.

Yes, that’s singer Ricky Martin’s lawyer’s name.

“The idea is not only untrue, it is disgusting,” Singer added. “We all hope that this man gets the help he so urgently needs. But, most of all, we look forward to this awful case being dismissed as soon as a judge gets to look at the facts.”

July 21

Two weeks after issuing the protective order, the judge in the case heard arguments over whether it should be extended. While Martin, appearing in court over Zoom, was prepared to testify against his nephew and deny the allegations, Sánchez brought a halt to the proceedings when he withdrew the complaint.

Martin’s legal team told TMZ: “Just as we had anticipated, the temporary protection order was not extended by the court. The accuser confirmed to the court that his decision to dismiss the matter was his alone, without any outside influence or pressure.”

“This was never anything more than a troubled individual making false allegations with absolutely nothing to substantiate them. We are glad that our client saw justice done and can now move forward with his life and his career.”

Martin spoke out in a video message about beginning to heal from the “devastating” allegations.

“For two weeks, I was not allowed to defend myself because I was following procedure, where the law obligated me not to talk until I was in front of the judge,” Martin said.

“Thank God these claims were proven to be false, but I’m going to tell you the truth, it has been so painful … for me, for my family for my friends,” he continued. “I don’t wish this upon anybody.”

Martin wished his accuser “the best. And I wish he finds the help so he can start a new life filled with truth.”

Martin’s husband, Jwan Yosef, 37, broke his silence on the nephew’s incest claims hours after the case was dismissed.

“Truth Prevails,” said the caption to a pic with the couple embracing.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jwan Yosef (@jwanyosef)

September 7

Six weeks after Martin wished “him the best,” the singer filed a $20 million defamation suit against his nephew.

Martin claims that a month after Sánchez Martin withdrew his restraining order, he began publicly boasting about being Martin’s nephew and sending Instagram messages to the singer threatening to “assassinate his reputation and integrity” unless he paid up. Martin claims the nephew posted his private cell number to Instagram, as well.

The suit says that before Sánchez Martin filed for the restraining order, he bombarded the singer with messages for months, up to a dozen a day.

Martin claims they were clearly written by a “maladjusted individual.”

The suit also says Martin lost numerous, multi-million dollar deals because of the allegations, and the nephew’s actions have caused Martin and his family to feel “unsafe” in Puerto Rico.

He asked the court to provide a restraining order barring Sánchez Martin from all communications with the singer and his family while the suit proceeds.

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