By DÁNICA COTO
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin filed a lawsuit Wednesday against his nephew that accused him of extortion, malicious persecution, abuse of law and damages — stemming from false allegations of sexual abuse.
Martin’s lawyers said the claim by the nephew, which he has since recanted, has cost the singer millions of dollars in lost income.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. territory’s Court of First Instance alleges that Martin has been “persecuted, besieged, harassed, stalked and extorted” by his “troubled” nephew for economic reasons. It further alleges that if the nephew doesn’t obtain any financial benefit, he would continue to “assassinate the reputation and integrity of the artist.”
The lawsuit contends the harassment has continued even though Martin’s nephew, identified as Dennis Yadiel Sánchez Martin, admitted under oath in July that he had never been sexually assaulted by the artist.
Sánchez had previously taken legal action against his uncle based on those false allegations, which prompted a judge in Puerto Rico to issue a restraining order against Martin in July that a court later suspended.
Those allegations cost Martin at least $10 million in lost income as a result of canceled contracts and projects as well as $20 million in damages to his reputation, according to the lawsuit.
The attorney who represented Sánchez in that case couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. It wasn’t clear if she also would be representing Sánchez in the lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The lawsuit stated that from October 2021 to January 2022, Sánchez would send up to 10 messages a day to Martin, the majority of them “meaningless diatribes without any particular purpose.”
It also accused Sánchez of publishing Martin’s private number on Instagram, which forced the singer to change his number.
Several months then went by without Sánchez sending a message until he requested the protection order in July against Martin, according to the lawsuit.
It also said Sánchez falsely alleged that he had had a romantic relationship with Martin for seven months and that Martin supposedly didn’t want the relationship to end and kept calling Sánchez with frequency.
“Nothing further from the truth,” according to the lawsuit.
It also said two restraining orders had previously been filed against Sánchez in an unrelated stalking case.
FILE – Ricky Martin poses for a portrait in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Jan. 27, 2020. Martin filed a lawsuit Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, against his nephew accusing him of extortion, malicious persecution, abuse of law and damages stemming from false allegations that attorneys say cost the artist millions of dollars in lost income. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)