Ricky Martin has filed a $20 million lawsuit against his nephew, claiming his younger relative tried to “assassinate” his reputation and integrity when he accused the singer of stalking and harassing him earlier this year.
According to legal documents obtained by Billboard, Martin — who filed the complaint in San Juan, Puerto Rico — says he is being “persecuted, besieged, harassed, stalked and extorted by a maladjusted person whose interest is to obtain an economic benefit.” He claims his nephew, Dennis Yadiel Sanchez, has messaged him via Instagram demanding money and also made his phone number public on social media, among other allegations.
Martin is asking the court to order Sanchez to “immediately refrain” from communicating with him and his family either in person, by phone or through social media. The “Tiburones” singer is also seeking $20 million in compensation, claiming he lost “multi-million dollar” deals as a result of the “false” accusations, which included an allegation that he and Sanchez were involved in a romantic relationship.
On July 2, Martin was served with a restraining order by a judge in Puerto Rico on behalf of Sanchez, who alleged he and Martin dated for seven months and that, after breaking up, the singer was seen loitering near his house at least three times. Martin subsequently denied the accusations via his lawyer Marty Singer, who issued a statement saying, “The idea is not only untrue, it is disgusting. We look forward to this awful case being dismissed as soon as a judge gets to look at the facts.”
Later that month, the legal case against Martin was dismissed after Sanchez withdrew his claims. The singer appeared before the court via Zoom to address the allegations and later issued an on-camera statement once the case was dismissed.
“I was victim of a lie,” Martin said at the time. “Unfortunately, the attack came from a family member … I only wish him the best, for him to find the light. A lie can cause so much harm. It harmed me, my husband, my kids, my parents, my family. I couldn’t defend myself because there was a legal process I had to follow where I had to be silent until I’d be able to speak to a judge. Today was the day. Now, it’s time for me to heal. I’m very hurt. I will find peace, the necessary silence to see the light again at the end of the tunnel, like I’ve always been able to.”
Billboard could not locate a contact for Sanchez or reach any lawyers representing him.