Mo’nique’s Abusive Brother Apologizes On Oprah

Mo’Nique has made no secret that she drew from her own abusive past to channel into her Oscar-winning performance in “Precious.” Now the brother who sexually assaulted her is speaking out for the first time. In a one-on-one with Oprah, her older brother Gerald Imes claimed he was abused as a child, which he says drove him to drugs and led him to predatory behavior. “I’m here today to acknowledge that I’ve been in denial for over 30 years,” he said at the top of the show. “I just want to say I’m sorry.” Gerald says he is proud of his sister’s accomplishments and says he became abusive towards her during a period in his life when he had “spiraled out of control.” “I started using cocaine, alcohol, heroin, at age 11,” he said. He was 13 when he first molested her. She was seven. The abuse lasted until she was 11. Afterward, he says, “I did the drugs to hide my own pain, to hide my own fear … I abused and betrayed the trust of my sibling.”

He was later sentenced to prison for 12 years for molesting someone else.

Mo’Nique’s parents were also in the audience. “It was such a heartbreaking thing to accept,” her mother said. They recalled how they kicked Gerald out of the house when Mo’Nique — then 15 — told them of his abusive history. However, he was living back at home within the month. As a family, they admit they continued forward with their daily lives as though everything was back to normal. When she first went public with the story, “I was hurt,” her mother said. “This is something that should have probably been discussed first within the family.” They haven’t spoken in two and a half years. Gerald said he decided to come forward to help heal their family. “By coming forth today, somewhere along the line, after 37 years, somewhere, somehow, as siblings we can come back together and say I’m sorry. I’m doing this to apologize, to hopefully bring back some family unity — my sister, myself, mom, dad, our brothers and sisters — let’s bring our family back together.”



  1. I think it took a lot of courage for him to do this. And although it’s a very sensitive topic that involves a lot of pain, I applaud him for making the step to do something right. I hope that Mo’Nique finds some peace with what her brother has done and the step he has made to heal their family. I don’t think she can forgive him, but at least acknowledge his effort.

  2. I am proud of Mo’nique for not letting her past win the battle of her life ; Sometimes an Apology is all a person need to Move on, I hope they Both find inner peace .

  3. No doubt this man is brave! Maybe with Gods help his sister and the rest of his family can forgive him, and hopefully with Gods help he can forgive himself! Most importantly God will forgive him!

  4. NOELLE- Yea that’s why she played the part of Mary so greatly. I recorded this because I had to go to work, but is it her mother that she(Monique) hasn’t talked to in 2years or him? Hopefully she can forgive him, but I’m sure she will never want to talk or see him again. I hate to see families go through things like this…sad.

  5. 17150918 – On the show, Monique’s family indicated that she hasn’t spoken to either her brother or her parents in over 2 years.

    This is a sensitive subject…and I don’t know how I feel about this interview yet. Maybe I am skeptical, but I question his motives. Furthermore, it seemed like the family was more concerned with the public outing of their “family business” rather than Monique being abused and their son being the perpetrator of the aforementioned abuse. However, I recognize that this may not be the case, it is just my impression. Therefore, I will try to refrain from judgment.

    Issues such as sexual abuse (and domestic violence, mental illness, etc.)continue to plague our community due to silence and lack of awareness. There is a tendency for these issues to be kept “silent” or “in the family”. When these issues are not openly discussed and addressed, the vicious cycle continues. This is one of the reasons I am in the mental health field — to aid in breaking these cycles. Just my two cents…

  6. Empathetic D – Thanks and I watched the whole interview a couple hours ago and I absolutely agree with Empathetic D. The family didn’t want this incident out to the public, and that’s clearly the reason Monique’s family doesn’t talk to her. It sorta seems like her family is against her. Oprah was clearly pestered with the family and vice versa. It hurt to watch that interview, because I HATE seeing families being torn apart over anything. I’ll pray for them.

  7. I watched the whole episode and it was so sad how people who are hurt in turn hurt other people and that leads to a long lasting pain that never leaves the family. I will definitely pray for them as well because this type of thing happens more than we care to admit or understand.

  8. to me there were some lies or gross oversights…like he says that he abused mo when he was 13 but mo says she was 7 and he is 10 years older. and ther is a huge difference between a 13yo and a 17yo. i also question the motives of all the family members who appeared on the oprah show…the whole thing made me uncomfortable.

  9. Iris – That’s what I thought too! I have been trying to figure out when the abuse began. The brother said he was 13 when he first abused Monique and when Monique says she was molested beginning at the age of 7. Unfortunately, I feel as if the abuse was probably occurring a lot longer than either cares to admit. It is likely that Monique may not hot remember any abuse prior to age 7, while the brother would remember because he was 13. I’m not sure.

    Regardless of how long the abuse took place, it is still an unfortunate situation.

  10. This has happen to a lot of women and men..some people never ever bounce back!! I do a lot of volunteer work and 85percent have stated they were mentally and physcially abused by a family member. If any of you have kids please always observe and pay close attention to drastic change in there behaviors. It’s important and any form of abuse should never be tolerated by anyone!

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