How do you apologize for doing the unthinkable? Gerald Imes, the older brother of Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique was on Oprah Winfrey’s show Monday trying to do just that.
Gerald Imes confirmed he began molesting her when she 7 years old and he 13. Mo’Nique has been quoted as saying the abuse continued four years.
“I did it. I apologize,” Imes, 52, said. “I am sorry that it happened. I want to say that I am sorry to her.”
Mo’Nique, 42, addressed the abuse in detail in a candid interview during Barbara Walters’ Oscars special in March. The actress said she based the evil, gut-wrenching character of Mary Jones that she portrayed in “Precious” on her brother, whom she called a “monster.”
“Mary Jones was my older brother,” Mo’Nique said to Walters. “It (working on the film) made me stop resenting my brother.”
During Winfrey’s show, Imes revealed after his sister’s interview with Walters, he felt like a “piece of crap.” He wondered aloud how he could’ve done to her what was done to him — he, too, was sexually molested. At 11 years of age, he started using alcohol and drugs to dull his own pain, thinking abuse was the norm. He explained Mo’Nique probably thought of him as a monster, not because of the sexual abuse but because of when it happened, he was much taller than her and of course he would appear like a monster.
Winfrey also interviewed Mo’Nique and Gerald’s parents Alice and Steven Imes Jr. Alice Imes said Mo’Nique told her of the abuse when she was 15. At first Alice sent her son to a grandparent’s home but that lasted two weeks. Afterward, the family seemed to carry on normally. Her father admitted he was in “a state of confusion.”
While there was remorse over what happened to Mo’Nique, the family seemed more upset that she called Gerald Imes a “monster” and aired the family’s personal business nationally than discussing it first as a family. Alice Imes admitted she has not spoken to Mo’Nique in more than two years.
“It really isn’t what it looks like. It’s blown out of proportion,” said Mo’Nique’s other brother Steven Imes III, who also was on Winfrey’s show. “After the molestation, Gerald and Mo’Nique resumed a brother and sister relationship. … Gerald’s always come to Mo’Nique’s aid and supported Mo’Nique in any and every way he possibly could, so to come out today to say my brother did this and that’s the last and only statement that society knows that this guy only and always been a ‘monster’ to her, is not true. …”
It has taken Gerald Imes and Mo’Nique 37 years to deal with this issue, he said. As she ended the interview, Winfrey asked Gerald where he is now with his life.
“I learned to live in the power of now. Stay in the now. It’s not about what you did yesterday. … It’s about what you have, what you are — right here, right now.”
Source:The Detroit News/Ursula Watson