Mexican pop diva Gloria Trevi is facing a new civil lawsuit that revives claims she groomed underage girls to have sex with her ex-partner, producer Sergio Andrade, according to an article published in Rolling Stone magazine on Wednesday. The complaint comes almost two decades after a Mexican judge acquitted the singer of the same charges: rape, kidnapping and corruption of minors.
Trevi responded to news of the lawsuit on Friday: “Being a victim of physical and sexual abuse is one of the worst things that can happen to a human being. I say it, and I know it, because I am a survivor. And my thoughts go out to anyone who, like me, has ever been the victim of any kind of abuse,” she wrote on Instagram. “But I will not remain silent while I am unfairly accused of crimes I did not commit. These false accusations, which were first made against me more than 25 years ago, have been tried in various courts and, in all instances, I have been completely and totally acquitted.”
The complaint, obtained by Rolling Stone, was filed right before the December 31, 2022 deadline for a “lookback” window that suspended the statute of limitations on childhood sex assault claims in the state of California. Although it does not specifically refer to Trevi or Andrade by name, the article states that “it’s clear they’re the top two Doe defendants based on details including concerts Trevi played in the 1990s and albums she recorded.”
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs – two women identified generically as Jane Doe – claim that the singer approached them when they were 13 and 15 years old, respectively, and lured them into joining Andrade’s alleged music training program. The plaintiffs claim that the program was used as a cover for a sex cult, where young girls were abused by Andrade for years. Most of the abuses occurred in Los Angeles, according to the complaint.
The new civil lawsuit claims that “[Trevi and Andrade] used their role, status and power as a well-known and successful Mexican pop star and a famous producer to gain access to, groom, manipulate and exploit [the victims] and coerce sexual contact with them over a course of years.”
By 1990, Trevi and Andrade had become international stars and powerful figures in both the Mexican and global music scene. It would be several years before the sex cult allegations began to emerge. According to Rolling Stone, the accusations painted Andrade as a “violent serial pedophile and Trevi his willing accomplice.”
In 2000, the pair were arrested in Brazil following an international manhunt. Trevi was held in pre-trial detention for four years. In 2004, a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support the charges, and she was released. Andrade was convicted of rape, kidnapping and corruption of minors, but ended up spending only a total of five years behind bars.
After being acquitted, Trevi launched a successful career comeback, releasing two top-charting albums. She has always maintained her innocence. At the 2018 Latin American Music Awards, Trevi defended herself in an emotional speech. “I was not complicit. I was 15 years old, with a mindset of 12, when I met a big producer,” she said from the stage. “He immediately sought to become a mirage of love and pretended to be my only chance to reach my dreams,” she said of Andrade. “I was 15 years old when I began to live with manipulation, beatings, screaming, abuse, punishment. And it was 17 years of humiliations.”
In a 2018 interview with EL PAÍS, Trevi claimed she was another one of Andrade’s victims, and that she did not blame the defendants who had accused her. “I’m not angry with the girls who said things about me because I know that they have suffered. I saw them suffer and I knew that they were under great pressure from the media, their family, society,” she said.
“I have taken a long time to speak out, because I didn’t want to get attention by making people feel sorry for me. I wanted to get attention for my work. However, I did feel a commitment to denounce [Andrade] and inspire women and men who are being abused to say: ‘Enough is enough, no more,’” she stated in another interview with this newspaper in 2019.
The suit was filed under a 2019 California law that opened a three-year “lookback window” for claims of child sexual abuse that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. Last week, Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler was also sued in California for sexually abusing a minor in 1970.
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