Yamil: "I turned over the video [of Noelia] because I feared for my life"
Much has been said about Noelia's explicit video, which began circulating on the internet last June and shows the 30-year-old Puerto Rican having sexual relations with an ex-boyfriend.
But the scandal hasn't only affected the daughter of Yolandita Monge. The disclosure of the racy images has threatened the marriage and artistic career of the man with Noelia in the video: Puerto Rican singer Yamil Gorritz, 28, who is married with two kids; a daughter, 9, and a son, 7.
Why did you have the video?
[Noelia] fell into a deep depression in Puerto Rico because of the problems she was having with her mom and Topy Mamery, her stepfather. Everyone knows about the abuse they inflicted on her, and everything she suffered during her childhood and later as an adult. She decided to go back to Miami and asked me to take care of the move and her bags, among which was the video. She went to Miami with a tiny suitcase and told me to watch everything for her, that she was going to send for it in three or four weeks. That never happened because after two months, I lost contact with her, and I didn't know where she was. After two years, I tried to get in contact with her but couldn't find her. Then I got a call from Leo Fernández, a very well-known Puerto Rican paparazzo, who works at SBS with Topy Mamery, and he demanded me to hand over the video to them because they wanted to safeguard Noelia's integrity.
But weren't Noelia and Topy having problems?
Yes, but a year and half after [my relationship with Noelia] I was back with the mother of my children, and I couldn't have another woman's things in my house. Who could I have given it to if not her family? Never in my life would I have thought that by giving it to Topy Mamery it would have gotten leaked. That's not the kind of press I'm looking for. This has a huge affect on my relationship with my wife and kids. It's a very uncomfortable situation. I handed it over because I feared for my life; the way they spoke to me on the phone was not very pleasant. I feared for my life, for the safety of my kids, and of my wife. I gave it to them thinking it was in good hands.
But you did know they were having problems…
I knew they were having problems. I didn't have any other option.
Why didn't you destroy it?
Topy Mamery is very powerful in Puerto Rico. It's a small island.
When and to whom did you hand over the video?
About 9 or 10 months back. I got together with Leo Fernández, Topy Mamery's right-hand man at SBS, and I gave him the video. He gave me his word [that it wouldn't cause any problems], so I gave it to him.
Was Topy the one who leaked the video?
I can't say because I would be slandering him. But the only copy that exists, the original, I gave to them. I don't know if by some oversight someone stole it. But the original copy was given to them some 9 or 10 months ago.
Do you regret giving it to them?
Oh yes, completely. I wholeheartedly regret it, and I repeat, if I had know that this were going to happen, I would have accepted the consequences of not giving it to them and dealt with my situation.
Are you still afraid?
I'm being very cautious.
Do you fear for your career?
In Puerto Rico, this has affected my career.
Has Topy blackballed you?
I wouldn't say he's blackballing me, but since this problem started, my music disappeared from Puerto Rican radio. This person has four radio stations in his power, he controls this. It's sad, I live for music; I'm the breadwinner for my family, and here [in Puerto Rico] I don't have clout.
How did you explain all this to Noelia?
I haven't had the opportunity to speak to her since that last time in Puerto Rico.
What would you say to Noelia now?
She knows that I would never deceive her. She knows that I was her shoulder to cry on during the worst time of her life and career. The person who was supporting her was me. Just that she has to understand the position I'm in, that I had to protect my family and my safety. I had that video for two years, and I gave it to someone who, as I understood, would never let this happen, no matter what the family differences. If I had known that this would happen, I guarantee you that I never, never would have given up that video and would have accepted the consequences. I never thought that this was going to get out of control.