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.”