Yesterday, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Gerald Imes, the brother Moâ€™Nique has infamously accused of molesting her for several years.
For years Imes has denied molesting his sister, but on Oprahâ€™s show finally acknowledged Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s claims. At the beginning of the show Oprah revealed that while Moâ€™Nique gave the talk show host her blessing to do the episode after Gerald reached out to Oprah, she didnâ€™t want to be involved.
Early into the interview Gerald acknowledged that he had been abusing drugs since he was 11 with â€śseveral people close to the family.â€ť
Although Moâ€™Nique has always maintained that the abuse occurred between the ages of 7-11, Gerald countered that the abuse lasted a year or two.
He also denied that it happened regularly but did make note that â€śit happened more than it should have.â€ť
As a victim of molestation by a relative herself, yesterdayâ€™s subject matter was a sensitive issue to Oprah.
Gerald claimed that the majority of the abuse took place as Moâ€™Nique slept.
When pressed on why he decided to finally admit to his abuse now, Gerald told Oprah that after 37 years of denial, he wanted to come forward and confirm Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s truth with the hopes that the two can â€śsomehow as siblings come back together as brother and sister.â€ť
On how he felt about initially denying Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s abused claim, Gerald told Oprah he felt, â€śAshamed. I betrayed her but at the same time I was in denial because I was afraid of what was going to happen to me.â€ť
Unfortunately, he seemed very ambivalent about just how destructive his behavior was.
He didnâ€™t want to admit that he was a â€śmonsterâ€ť to his sister. He would only say that he understands â€śwhy it would be perceived as a monstrous act.â€ť
You molested your sister, sir. Own up to the fact that youâ€™re not just her big brother.
I also didnâ€™t like the fact that Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s other brother, Stephen Imes, smirked and laughed condescendingly. When asked why he was laughing, Stephen explained to Oprah that after the incident was finally acknowledged by Moâ€™Nique to her parents at the age of 15 that everything went back to â€śnormal.â€ť
None of Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s relatives â€“ including her parents â€“ seemed to fully grasp why Moâ€™Nique might have behaved â€śnormallyâ€ť with them yet carried confusion and a sense of hurt with her years later.
Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s mother revealed that she didnâ€™t know that Gerald abused her between 7-11, but noted that she had wished her daughter wouldâ€™ve told her first before going to the public.
What you saw in Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s family was a sentiment still often conveyed by many black families: That you donâ€™t talk about family business outside of the family.
Fortunately, Oprah was there to explain why Moâ€™Nique felt that way and compared her perceived â€śnormal behaviorâ€ť with that of her own when dealing with the uncle who molested her.
Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s family didnâ€™t seem to really â€śget it,â€ť which made it a bit easier to understand why she hasnâ€™t spoken to her family in years.
As far as Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s role in Precious, Gerald said his sister was â€śtruly amazingâ€ť and her mother expressed â€śgleeâ€ť for her success.
And while they donâ€™t completely understand Moâ€™Niqueâ€™s speaking out her inner turmoil following her sexual abuse, theyâ€™re hoping the Oscar winner will reach back out to them as a result of Geraldâ€™s appearance.
Good luck with that, yaâ€™ll.
In the meantime, here’s a clip of the interview: