Latin Singer Ozuna Reveals He Was the Victim of an Extortion Attempt Over an 'Intimate Video'
Ozuna, the popular Latin reggaeton singer, revealed he was the victim of an extortion attempt.
His management, Dimelo VI, confirmed the news in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, which reported the extortion attempt involved an intimate video the “Taki Taki” singer had made when the now 26-year-old was a minor.
“The content that has been disclosed on the Internet confirms the information that our lawyers released yesterday confirming that the urban music artist Ozuna was extorted with an intimate video where he was a minor,” the statement read.
“This video was edited with the objective of causing even more harm,” they continued. “The necessary legal measures are already being taken since sending and publishing videos of minors is a state and federal offense.”
“Thanks to the fact that he has worked very hard during the past three years, today Ozuna has become a successful artist of international stature, grateful to God and his audience that has supported him during the ups and downs,” they shared. “His greatest interest has always been to protect and ensure the welfare of his family and avoid exposing them to difficult situations. We hope that this will serve as an example and a message to all teenagers and adults, that they guard their privacy and avoid these things so as not to have to go through such regrettable situations.”
The “Vaina Loca” singer’s attorney, Antonio Sagardia, confirmed to Primera Hora, a Puerto Rican newspaper, that the singer had been the victim of the extortion attempt allegedly carried out by slain Puerto Rican rapper Kevin Fret.
Fret, 24, was shot and killed in Puerto Rico earlier this month.
Sagardia told the newspaper, “Ozuna has nothing to do with [Fret’s] death. The only way Ozuna is affected is that [Fret] was extorting him and police have the information.”
The attorney told Univision, a Spanish-language news station, that Ozuna had allegedly paid Fret about $50,000 to keep the video out of the public.
“Fret, may he rest in peace, alleged that he had a video that could damage Ozuna and he wanted money,” Sagardia said. “A typical extortion. Ozuna was about 16 years old in the video. It was something to do with his intimate life.”
He added, “How Fret came to obtain this video, we don’t know.”
Ozuna, born Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado, also apologized in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
“What happened was a mistake of the past,” he said. “Like many young people, I made a mistake driven by ignorance. Today, I not only regret what happened, but I condemn it.”
He continued, “I looked for help and I am certain everything will be cleared. Likewise, I’m following the process and am always willing to collaborate with authorities to prevent the evil that resulted from this big mistake.”
“More importantly, I ask my family for forgiveness,” Ozuna added. “They are my life’s priority and I will continue to fight for them always.”
The singer is married to Taina Melendez and the couple shares two children: daughter Sofia Valentina, 5, and son Jacob Andres, 3.
Don Omar, a renowned Puerto Rican singer, was accused of making homophobic comments after the news broke with a tweet that read, “Lunch break!” followed in Spanish by “Any of you eat [duck]? Not me.”
Duck, or pato as it translates in Spanish, is a homophobic slur used in some Latin American countries.
He faced backlash from other popular artists such as Bad Bunny and Puerto Rican mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.
“Homophobia in this day and age?” Bad Bunny tweeted. “How embarrassing, loco.”
Yulin Cruz added, “We still have many battles so that those who have narrow minds and spirits learn to respect diversity. We carry on. As Olga Tañon [a popular Latina singer] told us this weekend, there are more of us who are good.”