Where is Ralphy Rodriguez? The Menudo singer first accused Edgardo Diaz of horrific abuse in 1991

Menudo were one of the most popular boy bands in Latin America. A new docuseries titled “Menudo: Forever Young” traces the outfit’s history from its inception to its end, focusing on some of the former members who have spoken out about a pattern of abuse at Edgardo’s part. Diaz, their manager. Ralphy Rodriguez, who was part of Menudo for a few years in the 1980s, also spoke about his experience.

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The disturbing four-part miniseries, which premiered Thursday, June 23 on HBO Max, features the former members of the group speaking to the camera about the alleged abuse. The docuseries about the group, made up of around 40 members over the decades it was active, reveals the dark underbelly of boy band activity. The number of members of the group, which released its last studio album in 2009, increased over time because when the boys turned 16 and reached puberty, they were replaced by new younger members, keeping the group boys still young. Hence the title of the docuseries “Menudo: Forever Young”.

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When Rodriguez was nine or ten years old, he was particularly struck by how the Menudo boys always seemed to have a good time together. Speaking to HBO producers, he said he was dealing with a physically and verbally abusive father at the time and hoped to join the group one day and share their happiness. His dreams came true soon after, as he became a member of the boy band in 1986.

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Ray Acevedo, Ash Ruiz, Johnny Lozada, Ralphy Rodriguez and Cesar Abreu attend the ‘Menudo Forever Young’ premiere during the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on June 11, 2022 in New York City (Jason Mendez/Getty Images for Tribeca film festival)

However, Rodriguez soon realized that it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows behind the scenes. On the show, he revealed that he felt unprotected when working and performing with Menudo. The singer recalled how the new guy was constantly harassed and foggy. After a two-year stint with the band, Rodriguez’s parents decided it was time for him to leave. Their decision was cemented after the band’s keyboardist died of a drug overdose.

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Menudo performs at the Z100 & In Touch Weekly All Access Lounge Z100 Jingle Ball 2007 Pre-Event at the Hammerstein Ballroom on December 14, 2007 in New York City (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Several Menudo members had spoken of their mistreatment in mid-1991. In a TV interview, Rodriguez accused Diaz of physically assaulting him. He appeared in another television segment with his father in June 1991. According to The movie addict, that feature also had Diaz on stage, and Rodriguez accused the former of hitting him with his fists. The manager tried to discredit Rodriguez saying it was just a rumor and accused him of trying to take advantage of him.

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Where is Ralphy Rodriguez today?

Responding to Diaz’s defense, Rodriguez claimed he had no benefit in going public with his story and only hoped to protect other children from the dangers of show business. The entertainer said he has since healed from everything he’s been through and is much better. He is married to his beloved wife Carrie and the couple have three children together.

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Rodriguez, who is currently a vlogger and real estate investor, is also the vocalist and bassist of 2080 VEINTE/OCHENTA, a Latin pop-rock trio who recently released the third song from their EP Pandemic. Rodriguez currently lives with his family in North Carolina but often travels to Puerto Rico.

NRalphy Rodriguez attends the ‘Menudo Forever Young’ premiere during the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on June 11, 2022 in New York City (Jason Mendez/Getty Images for the Tribeca Film Festival)

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As noted Popsugar’s Cristina Escobar, “Menudo: Forever Young” presents “a damning case against Díaz and highlights the media reaction at the time”. The mainstream media largely sided with Díaz and portrayed those who came forward as “greedy and ungrateful liars”. The boys were silenced and shamed, while Díaz was never investigated for his alleged crimes.

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