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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Ricky Martin

Aired November 14, 2010 - 21:00   ET



LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight Ricky Martin sizzles on the world stage and now on the pages of a revealing new book celebrating an incredible career.

The international pop star gets personal about a private life. A secret he kept for so long. How his love for his twin sons forced him to go public.

Ricky Martin answers my questions and yours still next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: We love him. Good evening and a very special welcome to our CNN Espanol viewers.

Ricky Martin, as you know, is the Grammy-winning recording star. He sold more than 80 million albums worldwide and is the author of a new memoir simply titled "Me."

We hold the book in our hand and in a while we'll have Ricky even reading from the book.

Why did you title it that?

RICKY MARTIN, GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING SINGER: Very simple. It was my life. It was my moments, my ups and downs. It's about me.

KING: Why now?

MARTIN: I'm going talk about my children for a minute. When I held them in my arms.

KING: They're twins, right?

MARTIN: They're twins. Twin boys. I said this is about -- it's about dignity, it's about love, it's about transparency. I need to do something about this. And then one day I sat in front of the computer and I started writing about my foundation and my trips to India.

And I said I think I found the right way to do it. So it was something that was -- it was there. It was very organic how it happened.

KING: You didn't think much about having kids did you?

MARTIN: I always wanted to be a dad.

KING: Yes?

MARTIN: Yes. Yes. I have amazing memories with my father. And I always said, maybe, you know what, I -- this is something that needs to happen. I didn't know how I was going to tell I was going to do it. And then the work that I do with my foundation which is about human trafficking, child trafficking, you know, I read so many -- I read and I heard so many testimonies of children. And the way they heal easily.

I guess something happened there that triggered the paternity.

KING: Was it hard to write?

MARTIN: It was intense. Very intense at moments. Very painful at moments. Very extremely vulnerable moments. And then moments of joy.

KING: You didn't have to write it.

MARTIN: I didn't have to write it, but you know it was -- it felt amazing at the end when I said my book is done. It just felt liberating. It felt -- it just felt right.

KING: In describing this journey that brought you where you are today, your memoir includes a section you call baby steps.


KING: Would you -- want to read part of that first?

MARTIN: Sure. Baby steps.

KING: And then we'll get into this. This is from the book "Me."


"It was approximately five years ago when I understood and felt deep down in the bottom of my heart and my soul that I was finally ready to accept my truth. I had plenty of time to think, to fall in and out of love, and to live through everything that I had to live through.

"Until then, even though I knew deep down in my heart what I was about, I didn't own it. And I didn't feel the need to tell the rest of the world. On one hand I felt that it was nobody's business but my own. On the other hand I simply didn't see how I was going to change everything."

And I have to go back to my children. Transparency.

KING: How did you come to have the twins?

MARTIN: I stopped my last tour, the "Black and White" tour, an amazing tour, world tour, and I said this is the right moment. I can take it anymore. I also talk about this in the book.

KING: How did you get them?

MARTIN: Surrogacy. I searched many options. Adoption is a very beautiful option and maybe in the future that would be the way. But science and medicine has given us so much.

KING: You had a surrogate mother?

MARTIN: I had a surrogate mother. And --

KING: Your sperm?

MARTIN: My sperm and an egg donor. And then a volunteer. That's how it came. Very simple. Since the moment I typed surrogacy in my computer until the moment until I was -- I held my children, it was exactly a year.

KING: All right. During all the years of your fame -- you were in that baby group, right?

MARTIN: Menudo.

KING: Menudo. Well, how old were you then?

MARTIN: I was 12 years old.

KING: That group hit it early, right?

MARTIN: In 1977 they were -- they were -- they started. And then they became a phenomenon by the beginning of the '80s.

KING: All from Puerto Rico?

MARTIN: All from Puerto Rico. I started in the band in 1984. July 1984.

KING: And then you broke away, of course, on your own.

MARTIN: Five years later I was done with the band. I was so tired. And I just went to New York City to live and to relax. It was the first time in my life that I was literally not following a schedule and it was very important for me to do so.

KING: Well, I have seen you work. I've seen your concert. You entertained at a gala for our Heart Foundation.


KING: When my son was six months old. He danced with you on stage.

MARTIN: Right.

KING: There were always rumors about you. And you'd heard them, right?

MARTIN: Yes, yes. Yes, of course.

KING: What was -- what was that like? What was that life like to live?

MARTIN: I was just not ready to even focus on the idea of --

KING: Coming out?

MARTIN: Coming out. And telling the world that I was -- that I am gay. And the way I was treated for some members of the media, it was -- it didn't feel right. It didn't feel good. It was --

KING: How do you mean?

MARTIN: Well, they -- it was treated in a very remarkable way. Everything within told me don't do it. It's just not right. Are you? Are you gay? Are you bisexual? What are you? Who are you?

To be honest, Larry, I didn't know why I didn't know back then. But I just -- I wasn't ready. And no one should be forced. No one should be forced to come out.

KING: How did you come out?

MARTIN: Well, first to my mother. And she actually asked me, my son, are you in love? And I was in love. And she said, is it with a man? And I said yes, mom, it's with a man.

It's fantastic. Stand up and give me a hug, she said. And with my father, pretty much the same way. He said, I just want you to be happy.

KING: All along -- of course the people saw your act, you know. It was very sexual and sensual act.

MARTIN: Mm-hmm.

KING: Right? Were you --

MARTIN: And it still is. And it will always be.


KING: Were you, though, at -- during the earliest stage or before this, pretending? I mean women would flock, right? They'd throw underwear at you. I mean people --

MARTIN: Yes. Yes. But you know what, Larry? I'm gay and I enjoy dancing with women.


MARTIN: And I will always enjoy -- I just allow myself to feel the music and just go for it. I don't --

KING: But you had to pretend a life, didn't you? MARTIN: I didn't -- I don't know if I was pretending because I didn't know who I really was. I didn't know. It was -- denial is very powerful. And whenever I had an encounter with a man I would do -- not think about it and keep walking.

You see, sexuality is very complex and it's very different for everybody. There are moments that I said yes, yes, I am. How am I going tell the world? And then there are moments when I started dating a woman and it felt right and it felt very comfortable.

KING: So you had relations with women?

MARTIN: I had very steady and formal relationships with women. And I can say, I fell in love with women and it felt right. It felt --

KING: Physically in love?

MARTIN: I fell physically in love. Now a lot of people would say yes, Rick, maybe you were trying to prove to yourself something. OK. Maybe I was. But in the meantime I was feeling. I was feeling comfort, passion. I felt passion. And it felt beautiful.

KING: So can that still come again? With a woman?

MARTIN: You know, like I say in my book, you know, love is about souls and encounters. Today I am a gay man. And everything about saying this feels right.

For many years I thought I was bisexual. And then I would ask myself, what is bisexual? Does that even exist?


MARTIN: Well, maybe yes. But when I was with a woman I was loyal and faithful to that woman. And I would not look any other way. And --

KING: But there was a but?

MARTIN: There was a but. But that but didn't -- the thought of that wouldn't last two seconds. I would try not to think about it.

KING: So you never thought you'd be sitting on a worldwide television program saying I am a gay man?

MARTIN: I never thought. And I -- trust me Larry, if I knew, and I've said this in many occasions. If I knew how good it was going to feel I would have done it 10 years ago.


KING: Much more on -- on Ricky's life. We're going to preview his new single, too.

The book is "Me." We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: You're listening to Ricky's new single, "The Best Thing about Me is You." It's a duet with Joss Stone. And from the sound of it you'll be hearing a lot more of this one.

This could be a big hit, right? Is this out?

MARTIN: Thank you. Very simple. Reggae-ish, kind of tropical vibe. A lot of people were saying, Ricky, I was not expecting this kind of music from you on your come back. I thought you were going to do either a power ballad or a "Living La Vida Loca" kind of vibe. And I'm like, well, you know what? I guess life is more simple than that.

KING: Speaking of coming back, from where? Where did you go?

MARTIN: I don't know, Larry.


KING: Where did you go?

MARTIN: A lot of people say come on back.

KING: You owned the world and then suddenly you were gone.

MARTIN: It was so healthy for me to do so, Larry. I needed to step back.

KING: Did you hibernate? Did you --

MARTIN: Yes. I mean I started working in 1984 and I did not stop until like two days ago.


MARTIN: It was very important for me to find silence. That's why for me my trips to India, like I said in my book, my trips to India, just spending time in my home in the U.S. going across country. And really finding silence was something that I was not used to. That I was really afraid of. And I haven't been -- I've never been more creative than since I took the time.

KING: You came out on your Web site, right?

MARTIN: Yes. And to twitter.

KING: March 29th of this year you published a letter that concluded, "I'm proud to say I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

Was that hard to put those letters?

MARTIN: Larry, I was -- I was so ready.

KING: You were?

MARTIN: I was so ready. KING: Not scared?

MARTIN: I couldn't take it anymore. I was ready to -- I wrote that letter on a Friday. And I think I made it public on a Monday. So that weekend for me was eternal. But you know, I wanted to wait for everyone in the office to come back, you know, to work and I sent it to everybody first.

My mother was coming to Miami where I lived, from Puerto Rico. I'd wanted her to be near me before I sent -- made it public. And all I know is that when I pressed send, I just felt alive, really.

KING: Where there very rough days when you're -- the hiding -- hiding is the wrong word. When you're trying to find who you are?


KING: I mean that must be terrible.

MARTIN: Yes. You know what happens, Larry? Everything around me was telling me that what I was feeling was not right. That was probably evil. You know from my faith?

KING: Evil?

MARTIN: Yes. My faith.

KING: Your faith.

MARTIN: You know, a lot of people say maybe your culture. I don't think about the culture. I think this is something that people from all over the world deal with. It doesn't matter if you're European, Latin American or, you know, Hispanic in the U.S., Asian. You deal with acceptance. And it was -- it was -- it happened at my age. Right now there are men and women that are dealing with this and they're 17.

KING: How are you?

MARTIN: I'm 38.

KING: To the Latin, though, this is the image. To the Latin, the thought of being gay is very difficult. It's very not macho.

MARTIN: Right.

KING: And that's hard?

MARTIN: Maybe that was one of the reasons why it took me so long.

KING: You're afraid?

MARTIN: Yes, because my emotions were not compatible at all with everything that I represented. But then again, I would think about for a minute and then I would keep working. Working, working, working, working. That's what I did. Not to think about this. And there was a moment in my life where the only thing that was keeping me away from actually accepting or actually confronting my reality was work, but then work was also taking me there because everybody was asking me about it.


MARTIN: So it's very confusing.

KING: When you saw the gays put down or anti-gay material or people speak about against gays, weren't you pained? How did -- how did you handle that?


MARTIN: In the past?

KING: Yes.

MARTIN: It was -- it was very painful. I think it was probably one of my lowest moments where I was seeing injustice. And me with the power that I had --

KING: You did.

MARTIN: To be able to be in front of a camera and talk about something that is not right. And not do it, that was devastating for me.

KING: We'll talk about Ricky's sons, his charity work, his friendship with a Supreme Court justice. Yes. Lots more with Ricky Martin coming up.


KING: The book is "Me." The author is Ricky Martin.

Barbara Walters interviewed Ricky for her "2000 Oscar Special" and pushed him pretty hard about his sexuality. Watch this.


MARTIN: I think that sexuality is something that each individual should deal with in their own way. And that's all I have to say about that.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: Well, you know, you could stop these rumors. You could say, as many artists have, yes, I am gay. Or you could say no, I'm not. Or you could leave it as you are. Ambiguous. I don't want to put you on the spot. You know that this is being said.

MARTIN: I know. I understand. And thank you so much --

WALTERS: And you're even being named.

MARTIN: -- for giving me the opportunity to express the rumors. But, Barbara, for some reason, I just don't feel like it.


KING: Only our dear Barbara could say, I don't want to put you on the spot, but are you gay?


KING: I love Barbara.

MARTIN: It really is funny now that I look at it. I haven't seen that video in a while.

KING: Did that bother you? Because she has said that she kind of regrets questioning you as she did.

MARTIN: You know, at the moment, I felt invaded. I -- once again, Larry, I was just not ready. I was not ready. Why? I don't know. Could be a thousand reasons why I was not ready. But you know, two days later I was already working again.

KING: Was there a time you knew you were gay? I mean what --

MARTIN: Yes, yes. Yes, maybe like --

KING: How old?

MARTIN: I was in my early 20s. Probably I was 20, 21 years old. I fell in love and I fell in love with a man. And I was about to give up everything, you know. My career --

KING: Was he in show business?

MARTIN: No. Not in the show business. But I was like, you know what? We're young, let's go, explore the world. Let's go and live in Europe or in Asia. Let's just live a beautiful life. How romantic and naive. But --

KING: What happened to it?

MARTIN: You know, like any other relationship it didn't work. It didn't happen. But it felt horrible when we broke up. It felt really painful. I was in my early 20s. It just -- it was felt so bad that I said, OK, maybe this is just not right. Look how -- ignorant on my part, I guess.

It's not right. Maybe it's because I'm not gay. So I started dating women again. And it felt good.


MARTIN: But --

KING: Boy, you must have been mixed up.

MARTIN: It was very confusing. It's very confusing. And you know what? Right now as we're talking there are thousands of men and women that are struggling with acceptance.

It's very difficult because, you know, unfortunately when -- what you're feeling is not compatible with what society dictates or with what your faith dictates, or what your family are telling you to feel. And it's just not right unfortunately. Because this is the reality we're dealing with.

KING: Did you -- did faith play a part in this?

MARTIN: Totally.

KING: You're Catholic?

MARTIN: Totally. I grew up Catholic. But -- I don't want to say it is Catholicism. It can be any religion. There are many religions that accept homosexuality and I have no problem with it. But unfortunately the one I grew up in, yes.

KING: Ricky Martin. The book is "Me." Still lots more to go and lots more to talk about. We'll talk about that Supreme Court justice as well.

Judge Judy is here tomorrow night. Thursday night, "Dancing with the Stars," the finalists will be with us. And Michael Moore on Friday.

Back with Ricky Martin after this.


KING: Are you having as much fun as it appeared?

MARTIN: When I was on stage, Larry -- when I am on stage I am always having fun.

KING: You never let anything bother you when you're on?

MARTIN: I never let anything bother because it's my -- it's like -- you're dealing with 20,000, 25,000 --

KING: Do you miss it?

MARTIN: I do miss it a lot. I do miss it. But I'm going to be real honest. I stopped -- one of the things that made me stop and go home for a minute years ago was the fact that not even being on stage was giving me that rush and that happiness and that joy.

So I said wait a minute. One thing is not to like interviews too much because they are invasive. But to be on the stage and not -- you know, not be having a good time, what's going on? It's time to stop. And now I'm ready to go back.

KING: You're going back, right?

MARTIN: I'm going back. March, hopefully, yes. World tour.

KING: All right. You've been -- do you call yourself gay or bisexual? Are you still bisexual? I mean you -- what are you?

MARTIN: Very confusing. For everybody, but for me. I am gay.


KING: No interest in women at all?

MARTIN: But I am gay. G-A-Y. Gay.


KING: We been tweeted -- we get a lot of tweets for you asking if you are involved with someone now?

MARTIN: I am in a relationship and I am very happy.

KING: Are you open? Do you bring him around? Are you --

MARTIN: It's usually very overwhelming to start a relationship, like we were talking in the break. And to be in a relationship with Ricky Martin it gets a little bit more overwhelming for some reason now at this moment in my life when I am presenting my book and everything.

But you know, we're not afraid of anything, we're not hiding anything. It's just when ever we decide to make it public well, we'll walk into the red carpet together I guess. I don't know. We'll see.

KING: Were you ever bullied?

MARTIN: You know, Larry, I am bullied today. You know?

KING: How so?

MARTIN: It's very weird because you know I'm a twitter fan. And I check my messages all the time, and you can get 100 messages of love. And you're very happy. And then you get that one message of a hater and -- you know, if you're in a bad day it ruins your afternoon. It's so sad that there is still hate out there.

KING: Then why look at it?

MARTIN: Yes, of course. You don't look at it, you ignore it. But you had your bad moment and you look at it and you --

KING: Tell me why bother to see what they're saying?

MARTIN: I know for me, networking is amazing. For me --

KING: Well, you're nuts then.

MARTIN: For me what --


MARTIN: I'm nuts. But I think that, you know what twitter has done for me and Facebook and all this social networking is just have an immediate reaction of what's going on out there.

And in fact when I was recording my music I would let them know what I was -- you know, what my -- what I was learning, what I was listening, and they would say, I love this, I don't. It's very interesting. Networking is a new way. It's a new era.

KING: As a kid, how did you handle success early?

MARTIN: When I was 9 years old I really wanted to be in the show business. I really wanted to be an artist. I would grab a wooden spoon and I would start singing even if it was for my uncles and my aunts. And I would just sing any lah-lah song.

KING: But you got well known early, right?

MARTIN: At the age of 12 I became part of the music band Menudo. And one day I was riding my bike to go to school, the next day I was flying a private 737, you know, living in a -- suite of a hotel suite and singing for 200,000 people.

It was pretty drastic.


MARTIN: But I enjoyed it. It was -- it was an amazing beginning. A great school of discipline. And up until today, I am benefiting from that.

KING: You told me during the break that the group doesn't keep -- you don't keep in touch with the group?

MARTIN: Not really. I mean I'm sure that if we see each other we'd say, hey, bro, what's up? How you doing? Give me a hug, you know? But not really. We're not touch.

KING: Ricky performed at the Grammys for the first time in 1999. Indeed that was the year you did our gala.

MARTIN: That's true.

KING: You sang the "Cup of Life." You got a standing ovation. This was the Grammy Awards. This was like coming out. Watch.


KING: Now even though you had been in the business all this time that made you what they call an overnight sensation, right?

MARTIN: Yes. Well, maybe here in the United States. For the Anglo market. Because that in 1999, I released the album "Vuelve" and that album in the United States was already -- I think it was already three times platinum in the U.S. But the Anglo market didn't know who I was. And that was an amazing platform for me.

KING: So you were -- you were always big in the Latino market?

MARTIN: Well, since 1984 because of the band and then when I released my first soloist album. As a soloist. It was successful.

KING: But was that Grammys that made you, right?

MARTIN: In the United States. In the United States. Because with that album, the one that I got the Grammy for that evening, I was already nine -- almost a year on a world tour. It was amazing because I was performing in Delhi, India and Tokyo and Singapore and Sydney with a Spanish album.

And I was doing stadiums in New Delhi. I did a 55,000 people stadium with a Spanish album. It was a very beautiful year for me. But definitely I'm very grateful to -- you know, obviously the Grammys because it was -- it was like the next level.

KING: As we go to break we're going to have Ricky ask our viewers at CNN Espanol to stay with us. So you do the break.

MARTIN: In Spanish?

KING: Yes.

MARTIN: (Speaking in Spanish.)


KING: Ricky Martin is the guest. The book is "Me".

Tell me about this relationship with Justice Sotomayor.

MARTIN: Well -- what an honor. I don't even know how to start. I received a phone call from her office inviting me to that very special moment when she -- you know, she was being --

KING: Sworn in?

MARTIN: Sworn in. And --

KING: Why you?

MARTIN: I don't know, but I'm not going ask. I was honored.


MARTIN: I was honored by the detailing of it. It was a great moment. And I just sent her my book. We had a very beautiful conversation. She talked to me about her struggles when she went to college as a Hispanic woman years ago.

And I told her about my grandmother who also went to college in the United States back in the '40s and how intense it was for a Hispanic woman. And it was a very beautiful, full of respect relationship that we have.

KING: How did you grandmother come to go to college in America?

MARTIN: She wanted to do her masters and she went to Boston in the '40s. She hopped on a plane and she said it's time to keep on working -- to keep on studying. And now that I was -- you know I was talking to Justice Sotomayor about it.

I was like, wow, then my grandmother was a very special woman. She became a senior professor at the University of Puerto Rico in the pharmacy school. She wrote many books. A very, very passionate woman. Very intense. And I write about her in my book because I'm definitely very, very proud of her.

KING: You ought to be.

We get a lot of questions posted via Facebook.


KING: One of your favorite things. Would you get married?

MARTIN: I would get married. That's -- that's why I want to have that option, Larry. There are many countries around the world where same-sex marriage is a right.

KING: Not Puerto Rico.

MARTIN: Not in Puerto Rico, unfortunately. And not in many states -- in America.

KING: But why don't you go somewhere if you're really in love with this man now here with you. You could go somewhere where it's legal.

MARTIN: Yes, we could go to Spain and get married. We can go to Argentina and get married. But why do we have to go somewhere else? Why can't I do it in my country where the laws are -- you know, protecting me?

I can go to Spain. I have many friends in Spain. And get married. And make it very beautiful and symbolic. But that I can do it in the backyard of my house. I want to have that option. I don't want to be a second class citizen anymore. I pay my taxes. Why can't I have that right?

We're not talking about getting married now. That's not part of our conversations. But --

KING: Would your partner like to have children?

MARTIN: Maybe. Maybe. All I know is that he loves my children. And my children love him. And it feels very beautiful.

KING: What's the part about fatherhood you like the most?

MARTIN: The love. When my -- when my child Valentino would tell me, "Papi, te amo," you know, I melt. And they tell me "te amo" every other hour. And it feels amazing.

KING: They own you. MARTIN: Yes. Before I used to ask permission to my parents to leave the house. Now it's -- I ask permission to my children to leave the house. They own the house.

KING: What are going to do when you tour, though?

MARTIN: They already have their passports. They're coming with me everywhere, Larry. Everywhere. A lot of people say yes, but you know what? Children, they need stability. Their stability is to be with daddy, and that is going to be what's normal for them. To grow up --

KING: How are you going to tell them about what's normal on the outside world, though? And that they have a father and don't have a mother?

MARTIN: Well, when they ask me I will say, you know, every family is different. Every family is very particular. I would say that there are families with a mom and a dad and there are families with two moms, and families with three moms.

And right now it's about the love that we have among each other and you have to walk through life with pride and happy and honored to be part of a modern family. And I would talk about it with honesty. And that's how it'll be.

KING: There are rumors that Ricky is headed for Broadway in a revival of "Evita." Boy, would he fit that part. We'll ask him about that next.



MARTIN: And we got embraced (ph). I brought you home from the hospital the day you sprained your ankle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you did. And you were so kind and patient.

MARTIN: Well, it's my job.


KING: That was Ricky Martin looking like Moses on "General Hospital."

You were on "General Hospital"?

MARTIN: I was on "General Hospital." And it was a very intense moment of my life. Very beautiful moment of my life.

KING: It was a one-time appearance or --

MARTIN: I -- no, I spent --

KING: You were a regular?

MARTIN: I was a regular. Two and a half years. Maybe three. KING: Who did you play?

MARTIN: Miguel Morez.

KING: Miguel Morez.


MARTIN: I was a bartender/orderly in a hospital.

KING: And you had romances with nurses?

MARTIN: Yes. I had romances, yes.


MARTIN: With Lilly. There was a romance with -- who else?

KING: All right. Any truth to the rumors about "Evita"? Because a lot of Broadway hits are coming back now. If "Evita" comes back, would you be interested?

MARTIN: No, it's not -- it's a fact. I am going be part of --

KING: This is a done deal?

MARTIN: This is a done deal. 2012. I'm really happy. I had the opportunity to do "Les Mis" many years ago. And I always said, you know, I need to go back to Broadway. And then my agent, you know, he said let's work on something and "Evita" was a part --

KING: Che.

MARTIN: And I'm going to do Che. I'm really looking forward to it. I can't wait.

KING: Who will be Evita?

MARTIN: Elena Rogers. She is an amazing, amazing singer, amazing actress. And it's going to be -- it's going to be beautiful. Next week I'm going to work on my tour. I'm going to be hopefully going around the world with my tour and then I will focus entirely on Broadway. Because it is one of my passions. To have -- every night to be in front of an audience and you have to sweat to get a standing ovation, that is something that turns me on, Larry.

KING: Who did you play in "Mis"?

MARTIN: I was Marius Pontmercy.

KING: The hero?

MARTIN: Yes. Yes. Very beautiful experiences.

KING: And every night repeating the same -- it's like concertizing, yes. MARTIN: Yes, but you know what? Every night you find something different. That being the silence of the audience or something in the character. Something in the stage that will trigger something different every night.

Yes, it's beautiful.

KING: How do you look at where you are now, Ricky? Assess yourself. The book is out. You're starting the tour again. You're are out-out.


KING: You're going to be in "Evita." I mean --

MARTIN: Yes. I'm a father.

KING: Twins.

MARTIN: Beautiful healthy boys. Nothing but gratitude. Live as it is at the moment is balance and I don't want to sound cliche, but I am only being honest. This part of my life after writing this, I don't -- you know, no masks, nothing. I am in a really good place spiritually, mentally, physically, and I am ready to do more. It's very, very beautiful internal strength that I have got.

KING: How is your mother?

MARTIN: My mother is amazing. You know for 10 years I've been telling her, mom, you know, Miami, come and visit her. You know what? Why don't you stay? And all of a sudden now she lives in Miami because the babies are there.

I have an amazing relationship with my parents.

KING: Is your dad still living?

MARTIN: Yes. My father is a psychologist. Retired. He lives in Puerto Rico. Yes, really nice.

KING: You have an amazing life. I mean you've --

MARTIN: I can't complain.


MARTIN: Larry, you know, you have your ups and downs. And everybody goes through dark moments in their lives. But they've always --

KING: What was your darkest?

MARTIN: My darkest probably that, but you know --

KING: Living a --

MARTIN: Trying to find myself. Trying to really accept who I was and not be afraid and/or ashamed of what my emotions were about. And -- it really was a struggle.

KING: Ricky has lent his name and energy to a number of causes. We'll talk about that next.


KING: We'll be right back with Ricky Martin. The book is "Me." But let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He'll host "AC 360" at the top of the hour.

What's our lead, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Keeping them honest tonight, Larry.

Facts matter, the truth matters, and that's why we're digging deeper into Sarah Palin's exchange with a "Wall Street Journal" reporter who corrected her on a minor economic factual error.

Everyone makes mistakes, right? Well, we're going to show the twitter/Facebook battle that ensued and talk with our panel about why Sarah Palin and other politicians cling to mistakes even when confronted with the truth.

And a senseless thrill killing a quiet New Hampshire town. So brutal. The judge said today in sentencing the murder that, quote, "I could go on for days about the depth of your depravity. It's sufficient to say you belong in a cage."

Find out what punishment he did receive.

Those stories and a lot more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: That's 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific with Anderson Cooper.

Ricky Martin is the guest. The book is "Me."

You do a lot of philanthropic work, the Ricky Martin Foundation. You're an activist against human trafficking. What got you into that?

MARTIN: Many years ago I was invited by my colleagues, someone that was building an orphanage in Calcutta, India. And he told me, come and check it out. And I hopped in a plane, I went to Calcutta to see what was going on and when I was there he told me come on, let's go out to the street and let's rescue girls.

And I'm like, OK, let's rescue girls. And then we brought girls that were from the ages of 4 to 7, and he told me, you see girls like them could become preys for human trafficking. And I'm like, what does that mean? Literally. He goes, you know, children are being forced into prostitution.

And I'm like, what are you talking about? She's 4 years old, 7 and 9? Yes, men pay for their virginity.

I went crazy, Larry. I went back home and I started doing research about human trafficking and I had no idea about the magnitude. I said now I know about this. I can't be silent about this because it would be like allowing it to happen.

And I went to Washington, D.C., and I started meeting with amazing activists, people who are my mentors today, and I'm doing my part. A little bit. There's so much that needs to be done.

KING: I understand also that you went to Thailand after the tsunami and Haiti after the earthquake.


KING: And these experiences affected you a great deal.

MARTIN: Well, that's what happens. Traffickers take advantage of situations like --

KING: Like that?

MARTIN: Like that, well, because children become orphans or semi orphans and they are vulnerable and they go and they kidnap the children. So I went there. And I said, this could be happening right now.

Media, listen to me. This could be happening right now. So let's be aware. And I had the opportunity to meet the younger survivor, Baby Wave. Baby Wave was a month old, and he was in a hospital being protected by the nurses, because in five days, five different men went to the hospital saying that's my nephew, that is my son. That is my --

KING: What are they going to do with the baby, then?

MARTIN: You know, human trafficking -- to be raped or for organs, or for false adoption. Human trafficking is terrible. It's a slavery of the new era.

KING: We'll have Ricky read another passage from the book "Me" right after this.


KING: You want to read from the end of the book? The book is "Me."

MARTIN: Yes. OK. It says, "Throughout these pages I've shown myself exactly as I am. Without censorship. The truth is never easy to pin down, especially when it's a matter of personal truth. Which is why I will always continue -- why I will always continue on with my search. My spiritual path for the rest of my days.

"It is this constant search that will always bring me about intense emotions. It teaches me how to challenge myself, question myself, and always push forward. But the most important thing and what inspires me the most is that this book can help to inspire other people to face their fears and push forward and their lives as well. And that for me is the greatest gift of all."

KING: Looking -- as you look retrospectively now, should you have come out sooner?

MARTIN: Like I've said, Larry, I wish I knew how good it was going to feel, I would have done it 10 years ago. But I guess I had to go through my spiritual search, my spiritual path to get to conclusions and be able to be comfortable enough to look at myself in the mirror and say, everything is going to be fine. You're a good person. And God doesn't make mistakes.

KING: Were you surprised at how well your parents handled it?

MARTIN: My parents are amazing. I was very lucky because I know it's not everyone's case.

KING: Had you to be nervous about that, though.

MARTIN: I was nervous, but you know in my case my mom asked me and it was like, OK, half of the work is done. Yes, mom, and then she gave me a hug and she told me that I love you. Then my father, he told me, I just want you to be happy, son. Go ahead and live life to the fullest.

But that was not enough for me. It still took me a long time to make it public. But it feels amazing and I never felt better.

KING: All right. The tour starts when?

MARTIN: March. March in Puerto Rico.

KING: In Puerto Rico.

MARTIN: And then we'll come to the United States. We'll do Latin America, hopefully Europe and definitely Asia and Australia and New Zealand. It's a long tour.

KING: And then "Evita" will come to Broadway when? Fall of 2012?

MARTIN: No, it would be spring 2012.

KING: Not far away.

MARTIN: Not far away. We're almost there. We're already dealing with the schedule of two years from now.

KING: You're going to have two very busy little twins.

MARTIN: I'm really looking forward to this. And they inspire me. They inspire me to become a better person.

KING: Great seeing you again, Ricky.

MARTIN: Likewise, Larry.

KING: Ricky Martin. The book is "Me."

Hey, if you want to interview me, right here, enter our "Be the King" contest. Just go to for details. Our buddy Judge Judy is here tomorrow night and the "Dancing with the Stars" finalists on Thursday, and Michael Moore on Friday.

Right now it's time for "AC 360" and Anderson Cooper. Anderson?

COOPER: Larry, thanks a lot.