Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo soared in popularity, with their fanbase primarily comprising teenage girls. While several members have sung as part of Menudo, it was always managed by Edgardo Diaz, who also created the band. HBO Max’s four-part docuseries ‘Menudo: Forever Young’ delves into the band’s fame in addition to multiple accusations against Edgardo of sexually abusing the boys. So, if you’re curious to find out more, here’s what we know!
Who is Edgardo Diaz?
Edgardo Diaz was a producer and manager who created Menudo in 1977. The first version of the group contained five boys. The group initially began recording radio ad jingles before moving on to making records. As per the docuseries, Edgardo first came across a Spanish boy band, but the members’ voices changed as they got older. That gave him the idea to create a group that constantly replaced its members to retain its youthful charm and appeal; most of the boys were replaced when they hit puberty.
While Menudo did extremely well touring several countries through the 1980s, there were quite a few issues that plagued the band and the management in general. According to the show, Edgardo would ask the band members’ parents to waive their parental authority, making him the kids’ legal guardian. Furthermore, the children were constantly working; apart from recording albums and conducting promotional work for them, the group also toured regularly.
All the hustle began to have a detrimental effect on their well-being. Edgardo meticulously managed everything Menudo did. Former members have talked about facing exhaustion and neglect while in the boy band. One ex-member, Roy Acevedo, stated on the show that at one point, Menudo was left on their own in Argentina while filming a TV show. There, he admittedly ended up doing cocaine and weed when he was only about 14 or 15.
By 1991, Menudo’s members began quitting the band and talked about the physical and mental abuse they faced, accusing Edgardo of the same. As per the show, just the year before, two members were arrested in Miami, Florida, for carrying marijuana. Then, in May 1991, further allegations came to light, with Bolivar Arellano, a renowned photojournalist that traveled with Menudo, accusing the group’s managers of abuse.
Around the same time, a friend of one of the boys confessed to attending parties that involved alcohol, sex, and drugs, allegedly organized by Edgardo and others. In response, Edgardo admitted to drug and sex problems in the group, adding, “These are kids who had serious emotional problems. All the problems that are found in our society were also found in Menudo.” However, he claimed not to have been directly involved with anything.
Perhaps the most disturbing allegations were from some former members accusing Edgardo of sexual abuse. Another report indicated that he moved to Miami from Puerto Rico when some of the boys’ parents tried to get him investigated for sexual abuse. There have been multiple ex-Menudo members that have since accused Edgardo of the same. Even on the show, Edgardo was alleged to have had sex with one of the Menudo boys.
Where is Edgardo Diaz Today?
Amidst all these accusations swirling around, Edgardo has always denied them. In 2014, another former member, René Farrait, said, “He knows perfectly well everything that happened there. These are very serious accusations. This is not a joke. This is something very painful, embarrassing, and disgusting.” As for the band, Menudo later became MDO but hasn’t released a studio album since 2009.
From what we can tell, Edgardo doesn’t seem connected to the band anymore. In response to the sexual abuse accusations, he said in 2014, “I am not going to spend the rest of my life defending myself and responding to allegations. Life It is one, and I live in peace.” Edgardo has since kept away from public attention and has never been charged with any of the crimes he’s accused of. He currently seems to live in Puerto Rico and had worked as a judge on a kids’ singing competition in 2013.
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