Yesterday, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Gerald Imes, the brother Mo’Nique has infamously accused of molesting her for several years.
For years Imes has denied molesting his sister, but on Oprah’s show finally acknowledged Mo’Nique’s claims. At the beginning of the show Oprah revealed that while Mo’Nique gave the talk show host her blessing to do the episode after Gerald reached out to Oprah, she didn’t want to be involved.
Early into the interview Gerald acknowledged that he had been abusing drugs since he was 11 with “several people close to the family.”
Although Mo’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 “it happened more than it should have.”
As a victim of molestation by a relative herself, yesterday’s subject matter was a sensitive issue to Oprah.
Gerald claimed that the majority of the abuse took place as Mo’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 Mo’Nique’s truth with the hopes that the two can “somehow as siblings come back together as brother and sister.”
On how he felt about initially denying Mo’Nique’s abused claim, Gerald told Oprah he felt, “Ashamed. I betrayed her but at the same time I was in denial because I was afraid of what was going to happen to me.”
Unfortunately, he seemed very ambivalent about just how destructive his behavior was.
He didn’t want to admit that he was a “monster” to his sister. He would only say that he understands “why it would be perceived as a monstrous act.”
You molested your sister, sir. Own up to the fact that you’re not just her big brother.
I also didn’t like the fact that Mo’Nique’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 Mo’Nique to her parents at the age of 15 that everything went back to “normal.”
None of Mo’Nique’s relatives – including her parents – seemed to fully grasp why Mo’Nique might have behaved “normally” with them yet carried confusion and a sense of hurt with her years later.
Mo’Nique’s mother revealed that she didn’t know that Gerald abused her between 7-11, but noted that she had wished her daughter would’ve told her first before going to the public.
What you saw in Mo’Nique’s family was a sentiment still often conveyed by many black families: That you don’t talk about family business outside of the family.
Fortunately, Oprah was there to explain why Mo’Nique felt that way and compared her perceived “normal behavior” with that of her own when dealing with the uncle who molested her.
Mo’Nique’s family didn’t seem to really “get it,” which made it a bit easier to understand why she hasn’t spoken to her family in years.
As far as Mo’Nique’s role in Precious, Gerald said his sister was “truly amazing” and her mother expressed “glee” for her success.
And while they don’t completely understand Mo’Nique’s speaking out her inner turmoil following her sexual abuse, they’re hoping the Oscar winner will reach back out to them as a result of Gerald’s appearance.
Good luck with that, ya’ll.
In the meantime, here’s a clip of the interview: