Ricky Martin has opened up about why he spent so many years in the closet.
The Livin’ La Vida Loca singer, who has two twin sons born to a surrogate mother, came out in an emotional letter to fans in 2010, after many years of denials and speculation.
Martin, who is now happily engaged to Syrian-born artist Jwan Yosef, reflected on why he spent most of his career in the closet in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning.
He said: “I struggled so much… it was extremely painful.”
Asked why he didn’t come out sooner, the former altar boy added: “I was afraid… I was afraid of rejection, unfortunately.
“For many years, a lot of people told me that my feelings were evil. What you’re feeling is not godly, that I’m not a good person if I’m feeling this.
“No more of that, I’m a good person, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me. I’ve been the happiest man ever since.”
Asked if Martin’s younger self would be proud of him now, he said: “Now he is proud. He wasn’t that proud a few years ago, but now he is proud.”
Martin added that his sons Matteo and Valentino now drive his life.
The Puerto Rican singer added: “The decisions that I make today, even for my career, are based on the wellbeing of my children.
“Everything changes [when you become a parent]. It’s not about you anymore.
“There’s no more sleeping late. And I’m only starting – I want a big family. I like the noise of children running around the house.
“I want daddy’s little girl next. We are making plans for that – now it’s ‘we’. We are making plans for that.”
Of his life with Mr Yosef, who he met online, he said: “We talked for like six months about art, about life. Nothing sexy.
“Then I saw him, and it was love at first sight. I said, that’s it, it’s him.
“We don’t know the [wedding date] yet, but we’re engaged and having a really good time. Maybe this year… I want a big wedding.”
It was recently announced that Martin will be joining the cast of an upcoming season of American Crime Story, as Gianni Versace’s same-sex partner.
The role will be the first gay acting role for Martin since he came out as gay in real life.