Gloria Trevi: Superstar on Trial
Born Gloria de Los Angeles Trevino Ruiz, on 15th February 1968, in Monterrey, Mexico, she was the eldest of five siblings.
Her dreams of being an entertainer began young. Trevi started learning poetry recital at age five, followed by ballet and piano lessons, and later learned to play the drums. Her parents divorced when she was 10 and she left home at age 12, against her mother’s wishes.
In 1980 Trevi went alone to Mexico City, with no money, to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She earned money in any way she could, including singing and dancing in the street, teaching aerobics and working at a taco stand.
In 1984 the 16-year-old Trevi met Sergio Andrade, 28, who became her mentor. In 1985, she briefly joined a girl band called Boquitas Pintadas (Little Mouths with Lipstick). Heavily influenced by British and American rock, as well as by Latin music, Trevi decided to become a solo artist. With Sergio Andrade as her manager, Trevi released her debut album ‘Que Hago Aqui?’ (‘What Am I Doing Here?’) (1989), which was an instant chart success.
“I think Gloria arrived as innocent as the rest of us were. If Gloria contributed to all this, it is because [Andrade] made her ill, turned her, trained her, educated her in his way.”
Between 1991 and 1996, Trevi released five albums and starred in three Mexican box-office hit films. In 1992 she toured the Caribbean and South America, playing to audiences in the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Chile and Puerto Rico. Her music was provocative and socio-political, with lyrics dripping in sexual innuendo, but her aim was always to expose hypocrites.
The outspoken Trevi addressed issues such as religion, prostitution, drug trafficking, hunger, the upper class, and war deaths. She challenged Mexican machismo and often turned the tables on men, by bringing them up on stage during her sensual performances, and stripping them down to their underwear. Trevi also made numerous saucy calendars during this period.
Despite her more raunchy side, or perhaps because of it, Trevi was adored by young Mexican and Latin American girls, who dressed like her, buying clothes in the Trevi boutiques that emerged. In short, Trevi was soon known as The Mexican Madonna. She even turned her talents to public speaking, covering subjects such as AIDS, abortion, drugs, sex, prostitution and panhandling. She graced the covers of numerous magazines, featured in television specials and inspired Trevi comic books.
In 1998, not long after she and Andrade were married, Trevi’s fame and success came crashing down around her. It all started with the publication of a book, written by Aline Hernandez, who had previously worked as a backing singer for Andrade. Her book, ‘De la Gloria al Infierno’ (‘From Glory to Hell’) (1998), detailed her life with Andrade.
They had married when Hernandez was a mere 13-years-old and at age 17, in 1996, she had managed to escape from him. She claimed that Andrade was a sadistic, controlling misogynist, who picked up young girls, promised to make them stars, and instead lured them into a life of slavery, abuse and sex. Hernandez also claimed that Trevi was in love with Andrade and a willing participant in his sexual orgies and slavery. She did however say, “I think Gloria arrived as innocent as the rest of us were. If Gloria contributed to all this, it is because [Andrade] made her ill, turned her, trained her, educated her in his way.”
In 1999, several girls who had been in Andrade’s sex-slave ring, managed to escape and immediately went public with their stories. In television interviews, they told of being beaten, abused and starved, just as Hernandez had claimed in her book. Karina Yapor explained how in 1996, at age 12, she had left her home in Chihuahua, Mexico, and gone to live with Andrade and Trevi in Mexico City. A year later, at age 13, she had given birth to a baby boy and claimed Andrade was the father. She later wrote a book about her experience with Andrade and Trevi, citing horrible physical and psychological abuse.
Two teenage sisters, Karola and Katia de la Cuesta, made similar allegations of sexual abuse against Andrade and Trevi, who had originally hired them as backing singers. Another teen, Delia Gonzalez, claimed she had been recruited as a singer by Trevi and had then been forced into making a pornographic film and had endured nine months of repeated rapes and beatings by Andrade.