Mo’Nique’s older brother finally apologized for molesting her as a child for the first time on Oprah — but one psychologist wonders if he’s really sorry, or just capitalizing on his sister’s fame.
Mo’Nique was repeatedly molested by her older brother when she was a child, and it has taken 37 years for him to come clean and apologize. A little too conveniently — right after his sister won an Academy Award, in fact — Gerald Imes finally admitted his sexual abuse and begged his sister’s forgiveness on Oprah April 19.
Does his nationally syndicated apology seem heartfelt, or just a desperate bid to capitalize on his Mo’Nique’s newfound fame? One psychologist thinks Gerald’s remorse is completely fabricated.
“The apology of Mo’Nique’s brother is suspect because of the time and place where he made it,” Beverly Hills-based psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman tells HollywoodLife.com.
“[Mo’Nique] would have to wonder how sincere he is, since he suddenly seems to want to bring the family together after she became an Oscar-winning celebrity. And picking Oprah’s show as his venue? You have to wonder whether her brother is trying to cash in on her fame (literally). It seems as though he is jealous of her and is trying to get his 15 minutes of fame, even if it’s for something horrendous that he did.”
Mo’Nique, 42, has talked openly about being molested by her brother, claiming she even drew from her Gerald’s personality to play her Academy Award-winning role of abusive mother Mary Jones in Precious. She maintains that no matter how much he says he’s sorry, she’ll never forgive — or forget.
Although Gerald hasn’t spoken to Mo’Nique since her twin boys, David and Jonathan, were born in 2005, he’s hell-bent on getting a response from his sister. “Now that this is out, Mo’Nique, I’m here. Now that you see me, and I’m apologizing to you, let’s bring our family back together — because your whole thing is about love. Your whole thing is about reaching out and assisting and helping someone,” Gerald said on Oprah. “Well, let’s show the world that, yes, we can have a problem as a family. Yes, this is an incident that went on within my own family. Yes, I might be someone famous, but put my fame aside for a minute. I am still a human being.”
Although Gerald’s actions are inexcusable, Terry Edwards, a Calif.-based marriage and family therapist, says Mo’Nique should try to make peace with her brother, if only for her own well-being. “Eventually I think that to heal is to forgive, because it would relieve her own internal strife,” Dr. Edwards said, explaining, “She’s still holding that pain inside of her.”
Watch Gerald’s confession for yourself and tell us — do YOU think Mo’Nique should forgive her brother? If so, why?