Latin Grammys 2018

Gloria Trevi to Take TV Azteca to Court After U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: Exclusive Interview

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Gloria Trevi poses for picture during a press conference to present her DVD "Inmortal" at Cinepolis Carso on June 8, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. 

"I want a public apology," Trevi tells Billboard.

It took Gloria Trevi eight years to get her day in court. But on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that she can move forward with her defamation case against Mexican media giant TV Azteca, Publimax (the Azteca corporation that owns the network’s U.S. stations), and journalist and TV host Patricia Chapoy.

“I want a public apology,” said Trevi, who spoke exclusively with Billboard prior to her press conference in Dallas to announce the court decision. “My main objective is to restore my name as much as possible. When the media talks about you, it’s like throwing confetti around; you never pick up all the little pieces of paper. But I do think that through a trial, I can get a public apology. … This has been an anchor weighing me down. With the grace of God, I’ll finally be rid of it.”

Trevi’s anchor is her infamous and much-written-about past, which includes a four-year stint in a Brazilian prison, where she languished facing charges -- but was never convicted -- of leading a sex cult for minors.

 

At the time, Trevi was known as the “Mexican Madonna” -- a fabulous, controversial teen idol who was outspoken about women’s rights, sex and government and who was perhaps the single most famous female singer in Latin America.

Prison “destroyed” all that, Trevi says now. And, she says, TV Azteca, one of Mexico’s big broadcasters, was party to it. “They used a media outlet for their own benefit,” she says. “They manipulated the information and gave people incentive to speak ill about me. They admitted they had pressured the authorities to imprison me,” she says.

Trevi was finally released, and in 2004, she was absolved of the charges by Mexican courts for lack of evidence. Still, she says, Azteca persisted in its negative coverage.

“When I was struggling to get up again -- not from ground zero; from ground minus 1 million -- they started again. And at that moment, I didn’t set out for revenge. I set out to work for my family.”

Trevi effectively clawed her way back to the top. Last year, she received BMI's President Award, and she is currently in the midst of a sold-out tour alongside Alejandra Guzman. 

But Azteca's coverage post-freedom was the linchpin for her legal decision, says manager Guillermo Rosas. “What’s unusual here is that even though the defamatory comments generated in Mexico, they were broadcast in the U.S. and had a repercussion in the U.S. Her children live here, her career is here,” Rosas says.

Trevi filed suit against Azteca in the U.S., and the company filed petitions to block the suit. Both sides had wins and setbacks until Trevi took it all the way to the Supreme Court, which denied Azteca’s petition to drop the case.

“They want to make this out to be a war against freedom of expression,” Trevi says. “But if anyone defends those freedoms, it’s me. But freedom of expression is very different to abuse of power when you’re the media.”

Trevi's press conference will be live-streamed on her Facebook account at 7:30 p.m. ET.

TV Azteca has no comment at this time.