Lyle and Erik Menendez alleged that they killed their parents in 1989 out of fear for their safety after a lifetime of sexual abuse by their father, José, an RCA Records executive, and condoned by their mother, Kitty. This defense earned them individual false trials in 1993, but was unsuccessful in their subsequent 1996 retrial, which resulted in convictions and life sentences without the possibility of parole. Over the next 30 years, they’ve continued their stories of victimization, and now, a new Peacock documentary series claims to have evidence against José that can substantiate its claims, and it comes from the most unlikely sources.
Menendez + Menudo: Men Betrayed (May 2) is waiting like a bombshell for viewers who (naturally) think that the Menendez saga has come to an end. Roy Rosselló, a key member of Puerto Rican boy band Menudo, claims he was habitually harassed by its creator and manager, Edgardo Diaz, during his 1983-86 tenure with the band. She also alleges that she was raped by José Menendez, a close friend of Diaz, who signed Menudo to an RCA contract and entertained him (with his band members) at his Beverly Hills home. During one of these visits, Roy says he saw Erik and Lyle, then drugged and assaulted, implying that the crime was committed as a covert way for Menudo to sign the RCA agreement.
“His father was a child molester. He was a sexual predator,” Roy says of José at the beginning of the movie. Menendez + Menudo: Men Betrayed, thus supporting Lyle and Erik’s story about the persecution they suffered at the hands of their father. This comes as explosive news to journalist and writer Robert Rand and his colleague Nery Ynclan, who have worked for years to exonerate the Menendez brothers because they believed that the Menendez brothers were wrongly convicted of first-degree murder rather than manslaughter. gave them a lighter prison sentence. Peacock’s documentary series basically assumes the same point of view, reviewing past discussions of the prosecution’s case against Lyle and Erik (except to say they were portrayed by the district attorney as greedy rich kids, sometimes to avoid mentioning a mistake, any complexity) (i.e., less flattering) details and ensuring that they come across as innocents going to the railroad.
Menendez + Menudo: Men Betrayed He plays a bit of a trickster game, and yet, intriguingly, suggests that Lyle and Erik’s accusations of harassment will be handled much differently today when there are revelations that powerful men like Catholic Church priests, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, or Michael have abhorred their power. progress. With his tainted legacy hovering over this story, Jackson became commonplace. The public’s understanding of childhood trauma and its scars is significantly greater than it was in the ’90s. It is not inconceivable, then, to think that in the current setting, Lyle and Erik’s accusations would seem more plausible than they did then, and that no judge would dare to limit the expression of their alleged sexual harassment, as in the case. their second trial when they are found guilty.
However, such concepts Menendez + Menudo: Men Betrayed deliberately avoids a thorough re-examination of the case. In fact, the main focus is not on Lyle and Erik, but on Roy, whose first-person interviews dominate the proceedings. In these, she discusses the harassment that preceded her joining Menudo, whose roster was constantly changed and then brutally continued because the members couldn’t be older than 16. Roy always slept in Diaz’s bedroom while on tour and was physically attacked if he crossed the line. In a gruesome anecdote, Roy remembers being caught trying to see a girl and being locked in a bathroom all night naked, but brutally raped and beaten when released from captivity.
A lot Menendez + Menudo: Men Betrayed Roy’s difficult ordeal includes speaking candidly and tearfully about the multiple suicide attempts and hunger for justice that it provokes. He also shows that he visited former Menudo associates—New York Post photojournalist and Menudo merchandise distributor Bolívar Arellano; Raul, brother of recently deceased Menudo member Ray Reyes; Papo Gely, the band’s record producer and composer; and former Menudo star Ash Ruiz, who all validate their experience in different ways. These men were not only aware of Diaz’s pedophile behavior, but in some cases had spoken about it before, but were ignored and/or persecuted by forces in the name of Diaz, a highly influential and respected Puerto Rican. Rican celebrity. Aside from Roy’s own candid comment, his statements (including Raul’s admission that he once saw Roy and Diaz naked in bed) are shocking and convincing.
Unfortunately, Roy’s encounter with José remains an afterthought for many years to come. Menendez + Menudo: Men Betrayed. Apparently, one reason for this tossing is because Roy doesn’t quite remember what happened. After getting into a limo with Diaz and José, who seems to “want to swallow me”, and then served wine, which he now assumes was mixed with narcotics, Roy’s memory is hazy and then completely drained. When he woke up in his hotel room the next morning, he found physical evidence of the violation, but could not 100 percent identify who the culprit was. Although Rand brought this to the attention of Lyle, Erik, and their lawyer, Cliff Gardner, and he and Ynclan made excited and optimistic statements about what this would mean for the fate of the Menendez children, it is not clear whether this was enough to change the situation. legal pin No matter how hard the last chapter tries to portray this revelation in a crucial light, considerable skepticism remains.
Menendez + Menudo: Men Betrayed so it plays like the tip of a potential iceberg that has yet to be fully evaluated. As with several recent documentary series, she’s so eager to take the lead with her headline accusations that she jumps the gun and leaves viewers to speculate about a sensational future that may eventually materialize after further proof.