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Gloria Estefan Gives Advice to Parents About Child Predators While Recounting Her Own Abuse at 9 Years Old

"It took a full year for me to bring up the courage to tell my mom what was happening with this man," Estefan said in a candid new interview

<p>Kunhardt Film Foundation</p> Gloria Estefan speaks out about sexual abuse in her

Kunhardt Film Foundation

Gloria Estefan speaks out about sexual abuse in her 'The Thread' interview.

Gloria Estefan is speaking further about being sexually abused by a family member at just 9 years old.

During an interview for the Life Stories documentary series The Thread, the eight-time Grammy winning singer, 66, was asked about the incident, which she previously opened up about years ago in order to help other survivors.

Looking back on it, Estefan called her abuser "a predator of the worst kind."

She had begun spending time with him to study music. "My mother heard that one of my dad's cousins had a beautiful classical music school," Estefan said, adding that her parents thought it would be a good idea to learn music alongside her singing. "My dad was thrilled for me to go and study classical guitar."

Estefan went on to explain that it took her a full year to "bring up the courage to tell my mom what was happening with this man."

Related: Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Cuba Gooding Jr. and More Attend Gordon Ramsay's Restaurant Opening in Miami Beach

Her reluctance to speak about it, she said, came from fear. "I think I got even more fearful because I knew that he was getting to the point where he was going to do something irreversible to me," said Estefan. "I knew that I had to avoid that at all costs."

But that fear and silence caused the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient stress, she explained. "I lost a circle of hair from my head with anxiety," she noted. Her hair loss and the fact she "kept making excuses" to not go to class were "very strong clues" pointing to what she was going through, Estefan recalled.

Elsewhere in the conversation, Estefan revealed certain things parents could do to try and "prevent" things like this from happening.

She said that "arming [kids] with tools like speaking to them openly about it, telling them, 'You can always tell mommy or daddy anything that's happening to you'" would help. "There are ways that we can stop this from happening, and of course, putting those predators behind bars, because they wouldn't get away with it."

Related: Gloria Estefan and Husband Emilio Open Up About What Makes Them a 'Great Team' (Exclusive)

Paul Archuleta/Getty Images Gloria Estefan in Los Angeles
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images Gloria Estefan in Los Angeles

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Estefan first revealed her past trauma in a 2021 episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans on Facebook Watch, with niece Lili Estefan, 56, and daughter Emily Estefan, 29, by her side.

"He was in a position of power because my mother had put me in his music school, and he immediately started telling her how talented I was, and how I needed special attention, and she felt lucky that he was focusing this kind of attention on me," she said of the abuser at the time. "He put it in a way of, 'Oh, you're so good at this, and let me teach you whatever.' "

"It starts little by little,' she warned. "And then it goes fast."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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