In a cover story for People’s second annual Pride Issue, Ricky, 49, talked about the uncomfortable exchange in which Barbara, 91, addressed the speculation of him being gay 10 years before he came out.
“You could stop these rumors,” Barbara said at the time. “You could say, as many others have, ‘Yes, I am gay,’ or you could say, ‘No, I’m not,’ or you could leave it as you are, ambiguous.”
In the end, Ricky responded, “I just don’t feel like it.”
Ricky told People in his interview published online Wednesday, June 2, that when “she dropped the question, I felt violated,” before adding, “I was very afraid. There’s a little PTSD with that.”
“A lot of people say, ‘What would you do differently?’” he said. “Well, maybe I would have come out in that interview. It would’ve been great because when I came out, it just felt amazing.”
“When it comes to my sexuality, when it comes to who I am, I want to talk about what I’m made of, about everything that I am. Because if you hide it, it’s a life-or-death situation,” he added.
A rep for Barbara did not immediately respond to In Touch’s request for comment.
Eventually coming out in March 2010, Ricky said in a statement shared to his website that is no longer available, “This is just what I need, especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day.”
“These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed,” he added.
Since coming out, Ricky married Jwan Yosef, sharing the news in January 2018. “I’m a husband,” Ricky revealed to E! News at the time, “but we’re doing a heavy party in a couple of months. I’ll let you know.”
Ricky and Jwan, 36, share four children together: twin sons Valentino and Matteo, 12, daughter Lucia, 2, and son Renn, 19 months.
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