Gerald Imes, brother of Oscar winner Mo’Nique, appeared on Oprah yesterday to talk about sexually abusing his younger sister and to apologize. After denying the claims for years, he finally contacted Oprah, who in turn spoke to Mo’Nique before agreeing to do the interview. Though she refused to be a part of the interview, she gave Oprah her blessing and hoped that Gerald opening up might save another family. During the interview, Gerald talks about being abused himself as a child and falling into drugs at a young age.
“I accepted it as being the norm,” he says. “I started using cocaine, heroine, alcohol at the age of 11. I used these drugs to hide my own pain. Fear at that age kept me from acknowledging my own abuse. The drugs weren’t an excuse. They just allowed me and afforded me the opportunity to do the things that were in the back of my mind as a kid that I always wanted to do,” he says. “Most of the time, the abuse that I did with my sister took place while she was asleep [or] the appearance that she was asleep.
“I can only hope by coming forth today, since I couldn’t reach out to her, that … somewhere along the line with the apology and the truth of it finally coming out after 37 years, that hopefully somewhere, somehow … we can come back together as brother and sister and say: ‘You know what? This happened. I’m sorry that it happened. I’m sorry that it happened to you, and that I was the perpetrator, the one that did it to you. However, I understand your pain. I, too, was there. Now lets share this together and move on. Let’s help someone else.”
Watch a couple of clips from the interview below: