Gloria Estefan Says Emilio Estefan Was 'Lost at Sea' for 10 Days While He Escaped Cuba
On Thursday's episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, Gloria, Lili and Emily Estefan are joined by the legendary producer and singer to talk about the decades-long struggles of Cuba. (PEOPLE has an exclusive clip from Thursday's episode.)
"He tried in so many different ways to get you and your father and your brother out after your mother had passed," Gloria, 64, tells Lili, 54, in the clip.
"I remember when my father told me that you were risking your life to save us," responded Lili.
Gloria recalled how Emilio, 68, got on a "20-foot boat" to try to escape the island.
"You don't get in the ocean on a 20-foot boat," says Gloria. "None of them knew what they were doing. What they did is run out of gas."
"For 10 days they were lost at sea, and all I kept hearing through the news was — the name of their boat was Popeye but there was other ones — and they said there's been a Popeye lost at sea and I'm pregnant here and I don't know what's happening," she adds in the emotional clip.
On the upcoming episode, the Estefans are set to speak about the horrible experiences people are experiencing in Cuba today as they share stories of how they escaped their homeland decades ago. Cuban star Laz Alonso joins the women in this week's episode, along with Martha Beatriz Ferrer, whose father was imprisoned during recent protests and has been missing ever since.
The series return of RTT: The Estefans has entailed powerful conversations since its premiere last week. Then, Gloria revealed that she had been sexually abused by a family member when she was just 9.
"He was in a position of power because my mother had put me in his music school, and he immediately started telling her how talented I was, and how I needed special attention, and she felt lucky that he was focusing this kind of attention on me," she recalled. "He put it in a way of, 'Oh, you're so good at this, and let me teach you whatever.' And then, it starts little by little and then it goes fast."
"I revolted and I told him, 'This cannot happen, you cannot do this,' and he goes, 'Your father's in Vietnam, your mother's alone, and I will kill her if you tell her,'" Estefan added. "And I knew he was crazy because at no point did I ever think that it was because of me that this was happening. I knew the man was insane and that's why I thought he might actually hurt my mother."
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