Ricky Martin On Life After Gianni Versace's Death: "We Still Deal With Homophobia"

"I think it’s not how he died, it’s why we allowed it to happen," Martin tells THR on Versace’s death.

“At this point in my life, I need to tell stories that make a difference,” Ricky Martin told The Hollywood Reporter In Studio on portraying Antonio D’Amico, the partner of the late Gianni Versace’s in FX’s American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

The star made his return to acting with the Ryan Murphy drama and developed a connection with the real D’Amico. “He was very generous and he would tell me everything that he was feeling.”

“I was working with Ryan [Murphy], incredible directors, great writers and, of course, an incredible group of actors that were there with me at all times, so all I wanted was to talk on behalf of those that aren’t being heard,” he said. “Unfortunately, nowadays, we still deal with homophobia and I think it’s not how he died, it’s why we allowed it to happen.”

Through his career, Martin hid his sexuality from the public in fear that it would destroy his career, but he shared the special lesson he learned from Versace himself.

“He was being brave enough to come out of the closet and to introduce his partner in public. I tell you this and my heart sped up because I went through the same thing as a closeted gay man,” he explained. “Do you know how many lovers I had that I hid from the public that I did not allow anyone to see because I was afraid?”

He continued, “Gianni Versace went through the same thing as well and for me, that was a lesson. You have to be strong, you have to be brave, you have to be yourself and you have to be proud of who you are and not be afraid.”

Watch the interview above to also hear Martin rave about working with Penelope Cruz and his fear of living in Miami Beach at the time of Versace’s death.