Mo’Nique’s ‘monster’ brother admits abuse

Mo'NiqueDuring an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Mo’Nique‘s older brother, Gerald Imes, apologized for sexually abusing her when she was seven. “I’m sorry, Mo’Nique. I’m sorry,” he said. “I betrayed everybody’s trust. I broke that trust. I broke that bond.” He claims the abuse started when he was 13, as a result of being abused himself. He said: “I started using cocaine, heroin, alcohol at the age of 11. I used these drugs to hide my own pain, to hide my own fears… The drugs allowed me and afforded me the opportunity to hurt my sister.” Imes was later sentenced to 12 years in prison for assaulting another girl. He is now desperate to repair his relationship with Mo’Nique. He added: “I can only hope by coming forth today… that somewhere down the line. we can come back together as siblings. I understand your pain. I truly think, let’s share this together and move on.”  Mo’Nique said earlier that the experience helped her get into character for her Oscar-winning role in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, in which she played an abusive mother. At the time, she revealed: “I was molested by my older brother. And even when I confronted him and told my parents, he said I was lying, and nothing was really done. My brother was a monster to me.” She has not responded to his apology.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. mandee • April 20, 2010 @ 2:20 PM

    wow. i can understand people saying “she should forgive and forget” but i really hope they dont say that on this article or about this situation. i can understand that he went through hard times, but he should have looked for help rather than choosing to do the same to his SISTER. some people really shouldnt ever be forgiven, and he is one of them.

  2. Shannon • April 20, 2010 @ 3:03 PM

    Very sad, no matter how you look at it. I hope she can forgive him (if that was a sincere apology) for her own peace of mind, even though she’ll never forget.

  3. gypsy • April 20, 2010 @ 3:59 PM

    There is no excuse for that type of behaviour, EVER!! My heart goes out to her for having to endure that mental anguish for all these years,and will continue for many years to come!Keep your faith Mo’Nique for you are a survivor,among many others that have had simular experiences!!!GOD BLESS YOU!

  4. tributegirl • April 20, 2010 @ 6:03 PM

    mandee, I agree, there’s no way I would be able to forgive something like this.

  5. whatever • April 20, 2010 @ 10:26 PM

    forgive mo’nique and everything will start getting better.

  6. demigod • April 21, 2010 @ 2:07 AM

    Mandee, in case you miss it, I posted a few links in that Scientology article.

  7. silver • April 21, 2010 @ 8:11 AM

    I really find it disheartening that some of you have no compassion or ability for forgiveness in some situations. To automatically say someone should never forgive someone without knowing all the circumstances is unfair. I can understand feeling that she may find it very difficult to forgive, and she might not be able to, but it is ultimately her decision. The boy was (reportedly) 13 and had been abused himself. At that age and with that background it is very possible he did not really understand the full ramifications of what he was doing. To automatically label him as an unforgivable monster is unfair, but to basically counsel Mo’Nique to not forgive will not help her deal with the pain she suffered; it just continues feelings of hate and anger.

    I agree with Shannon and whatever, that forgiveness will hopefully make things better. Even if she can’t ‘forgive and forget’ or develop some kind of relationship with her brother, hopefully she can at least forgive to the extent of dealing with any negative feelings she may still have that may prevent her from having a happy life.

  8. tributegirl • April 21, 2010 @ 11:26 AM

    I didn’t realize we were counselling Mo’Nique, didn’t even know she visited this site! Get real, what we say on here are our own opinions and make no actual difference in the big scheme of things. I never said he is an “unforgivable monster”, I just said that if I were in her shoes I would not forgive him. He was only 13, yes, but she was only 7.

  9. silver • April 21, 2010 @ 12:14 PM

    Tributegirl, I never said you said he is an unforgivable monster. In fact, I didn’t mention you at all, nor make reference to any comments you made. My comments actually had nothing to do with you or your comment. You very clearly said you wouldn’t be able to forgive, which is far different from my comments regarding people who basically say no one should ever forgive.

    I also realize Mo’nique doesn’t visit this site. Again, you assume my comments are directed towards you, when you say “we”. I agree that my comment about ‘counselling’ wasn’t really clear because I didn’t necessarily mean it specifically to giving her advice which she would follow, but in general some people would tell a friend/coworker/acquaintance/relative not to forgive, because it is unforgivable. To blindly give advice like that without knowing and understanding all the facts is irresponsible. But based on comments made, it appears some people would give such advice.

    You are correct that your comments here(or anyone else’s) will very likely make no difference to this particular case. However, everyone’s opinion affects how they act in society, and who they vote for, and some victim of abuse might be reading these comments, so yes, you and others do make a difference in the grand scheme of things. My comments quite clearly are more global, and should be taken that way.

  10. mandee • April 21, 2010 @ 12:16 PM

    demigod on April 21, 2010 2:07 AM thanks, just got them 😀

    silver on April 21, 2010 8:11 AM he was 13 years old and had been abused himself. im certain he knew the difference between right and wrong, and im certain he didnt simply forget how he felt the day his abuser took advantage of him, therefore i do not feel she should ever forgive her BROTHER for this heinous act. to imply that it should be ok and he should be forgiven because he was abused doesnt even make any sense. people that are abused themselves in ANY way know how it feels. they know how bad it made THEM feel when they suffered from it, so it doesnt make it excusable or forgivable when they willingly do the same to someone else. this brother no doubt ruined moniques life and her trust of any man, when you cant even trust your own brother how can you trust any other man? it is, ultimately, her choice i agree with that. but i hope she chooses not to forgive someone that impacted her life in such a negative way. he really IS an “unforgivable monster”.

  11. Red • April 21, 2010 @ 10:11 PM

    I agree with silver in that I hope she forgives him so that she can move on and have a happy life. Nobody knows completely what was going on in his life, what his views were when he attacked her, so I don’t think we should be quick to judge. I agree that it was a terrible thing that he did, and I hope he feels that guilt for a long time, but the forgiving process is essential to healing.

  12. whatever • April 22, 2010 @ 2:52 AM

    i think mo’nique reads this site.

  13. mandee • April 22, 2010 @ 7:29 AM

    i never forgave the person that did bad things to me and im not bitter, im generally happy. i dont think about the past and what was done to me, and i dont think anyone else that has suffered at the hands of someone else in that way does either. i do not believe that forgiving is essential when it comes to being happy after someone raped or molested or abused you.

  14. tributegirl • April 22, 2010 @ 5:19 PM

    Agreed, mandee, I think a person can choose to not forgive their abuser, and still live a happy live.
    silver, so then who said (before your comment) that he is an unforgivable monster? And that isn’t sarcasm, I am giving the benefit of the doubt, as I know there could easily have been a comment of that nature that was deleted before I saw it.
    I also feel that if someone who has been abused in this way, or in any way, visits this site and reads our comments, it is not likely to change their views and/or opinions at all, as we are nothing more than a bunch of random strangers.

  15. J. • April 23, 2010 @ 3:35 AM

    I don’t see why she should forgive him. They can never have a normal relationship–that was ruined the day he abused her. How could she ever trust him.

    Of course he’s reaching out to her now that she’s achieved all this celebrity status.

  16. silver • April 23, 2010 @ 2:04 PM

    tg, I wasn’t quoting when I said ‘unforgivable monster’ — it was a generalized description that I think pretty closely matches some people’s feelings. Monique apparently called him a ‘monster’, and a few posted he shouldn’t be forgiven. Mandee seems to agree with the description since she used it also after I did.

    Mandee, I agree that a person can deal with abuse without forgiving the abuser, and lead a ‘normal’ (or as you said, happy) life. You also said “i dont think about the past and what was done to me, and i dont think anyone else that has suffered at the hands of someone else in that way does either.” I probably disagree a bit in that I think some people probably still think about it, but still are able to function happily — I don’t think you have to completely forget about it.

    However, despite you saying this, you earlier said that anyone who rapes/molests shouldn’t be forgiven because “this brother no doubt ruined moniques life and her trust of any man.” So why do you believe that Mo’Nique’s life has been ruined, when you seem to say that yours hasn’t? I’m not saying there aren’t issues she (or you) may be dealing with, but if her life had been ruined, she wouldn’t have achieved the success she has. (And as for trusting men, according to she is married.)

    It is counterintuitive that someone who has been abused would continue that abuse on someone else — as you say, how could someone hurt someone else when he himself has been hurt. However, it is generally known that abusers tend to have abuse in their past. So why would they do it? Perhaps they have been desensitized to the pain, or they do it to gain control over someone that they feel they lost themselves. I’m sure it has been studied and some theories given.

    As for a feeling that everyone should know right from wrong, how should we know it? Is it hardwired in the brain? Or is it learned? I think most people would agree it is learned at a young age from parents and other influences. So if someone doesn’t have the positive role models and reinforcements, but do have negative ones, how could they be expected to know right from wrong? I think you may be viewing this as someone who has solid morals because you were fortunate enough to have been give a solid base to make your own choices. Not everyone is so fortunate.

  17. mandee • April 23, 2010 @ 7:55 PM

    silver on April 23, 2010 2:04 PM hmm, youre right, i didnt realize that when i said he probably ruined her life it was going against what i said when i said people can be happy without forgiving their abuser. i understand what youre saying, but in a way he did ruin her life differently than my abuser may have, at the time, ruined my life because he was her brother. he ruined any chance she has of being able to look up to him for help, for love, for guidance etc. i didnt know she was married, so obviously she is living a happy life and he didnt ruin her for other men. but he did ruin her for being able to feel like she has a brother who cares about her.

    i agree with your last comment as well, i guess he may not have realized it was wrong but he should have still remembered the feeling it left inside of him to have to suffer at the hands of someone else. he still CHOSE to do what he did to his sister so he is still, in my eyes, a monster.

  18. silver • April 26, 2010 @ 8:29 AM

    Mandee, I am glad that you take my comments for what they are, which is to provoke discussion and thinking. (I say this only because in the past you felt I was picking on certain people.)

    The overall point I am really trying to make is that situations are different, and people are different, so a blanket comment can not cover all situations. I agree with you that she likely has been negatively affected by this (she did call him a ‘monster’); at best, she has as you say lost the relationship of an older brother; at worst, we don’t know how it may have affected her.

    As for her marriage, it is her second one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. She seems like she is a strong woman, and hopefully she has not been so negatively affected that she can’t choose the right person.

  19. mandee • April 27, 2010 @ 4:30 PM

    i think my main issue in the beginning was the way you worded what you were trying to get across. you seemed to come off as arrogant, when now you arent.

    and i agree, every situation is different and whats good for some isnt always good for everyone in the same situation. i believe monique will make the decision that is right for her and she will not regret her decision. if thats letting him back in then good for her, if its keeping him at a distance then so be it. all that really matters is her happiness and her state of mind, not his. as a child, you do things you wouldnt do as an adult. so maybe he IS sorry and maybe he feels bad, but it was still a life altering choice, he altered her life as well as his own. he needs to move on with his life and let go of the past just like monique seems to have done.

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